Generally assuming, things will happen during the NFL preseason game on Friday night between the Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In addition, and once again generally assuming, people will react to those things that happen; often, those reactions will involve an extreme measure of doom when things do not go the way they should. But how do you know when to freak out and what to freak out over?
We've gone ahead and graded several potential scenarios for panic-inducing capability. With this guide, you can let someone other than the voices in your head dictate how wigged out you should feel about the preseason and the general arc of pessimism moving forward. As this is the first preseason game of the year, there's not much here to get spooked about, but these are important to note should a fellow Lions fan be overreacting.
The Lions get shut out
Grade D panic. I know we're clowning on the Bears today but really it doesn't matter.
The Lions get picked apart over the middle yet again
Grade B panic. Not having DeAndre Levy yet again is a decent excuse but it's really got to be better than this, y'all.
The Lions lose the preseason game
Grade F. Come on, man.
One of the first teams looks sloppy, disjointed and discombobulated
Grade C. It's just the first preseason game, but it's putting the spotlight on what should be worrisome for days to come.
Jay Lee does not play well
Grade D if you're not Alex Reno, who has been trying to tell y'all. Grade C if you are.
Neither Zach Zenner nor Stevan Ridley show considerable promise
Grade C-. Even with Ameer Abdullah's imminent return, a running back-by-committee does need more than one rushing-focused back. Theo Riddick's been getting a couple of handoffs but someone else has to step up here.
The offensive line fails to stop anything more than a wet tissue
Grade B. We're still not sure what this unit is going to bring to the table, and with the offensive system veering more towards quick release passes from Matthew Stafford it should alleviate some of the stress, but this team is not going to get anywhere until the offensive line is stabilized.
Matthew Stafford throws an interception
Grade D. Whatever y'all.
Matthew Stafford throws an interception to a bottom-tier yinzer walk-on
Grade C. This is the point where there's a little concern, but Stafford's gotta Stafford.
Joey Porter talks some mad cash %@&# to a Lions player or coach
Grade C. The Lions aren't playing the Steelers during the season, but all it takes is the right guy to set off a fun little week of pearl-clutching and hand-wringing about a preseason dust-up.
Jake Rudock plays pretty well
Grade C, if you believe in distractions. He's still probably not beating Dan Orlovsky for the backup role.
A key starter gets injured
Grade A. No one looking to start for the team should be in any scenario where they might be injured in a scrimmage. This sort of scenario is really the only place where panic should really set in this early into the preseason.
Matthew Stafford gets injured
Grade S+ OH GOD OH GOD OH MY GOD NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
Bane detonates the series of bombs he's planted beneath Heinz Field and plunges both teams deep into the earth, beginning his reign of terror over the city of Pittsburgh