1. BOYLE'S PROBLEMS ARE SQUARELY BETWEEN THE EARS - Tim Boyle is a physically gifted QB. But against the Falcons, he showed the same accuracy and processing issues he displayed last season. He doesn't climb the pocket. He seems to abandon his fundamentals when he gets flustered. He can hit a receiver dragging from right to left because there's more space between the receiver and the sideline. But, Boyle can't reliably hit a sideline route where the receiver starts on his left and works to the sideline. Worst of all, 5 years in to his career, Boyle has to see that a guy's open before he pulls the trigger. As Devin Gardner pointed out, that's why Boyle is consistently late with his throws. It should be over for Boyle in Detroit. Blough is a far better processor and quick decision maker. Despite his lesser physical tools, Blough is the better player.
2. JERMAR JEFFERSON IS SLOW AND ROBOTIC - I never understood why Holmes drafted this guy in the first place. His vision isn't great. He doesn't dance his way through trash effectively like Reynolds does. And, Jefferson KNOWS he's slow. That's why he didn't try to bounce it to the pylon last night--despite huge open space--in the red zone. He doesn't trust himself to make an improvisational play that any good RB would make. Justin Jackson showed wiggle and suddeness in his brief appearance vs. the Falcons. And, Igwibuike has already shown how he can help this team with his speed. I'm going to be quite annoyed if Jefferson makes this team over those other 2 guys. Frankly, I don't even want Jefferson on the practice squad.
3. TOMMY KRAEMER AND EVAN BROWN ARE THE ONLY 2 DECENT 2ND STRING OL'S -- Matt Nelson has a superior athletic profile, but he doesn't play like it at all. Skipper is too tall and slow. Shorter, faster DE's get into his chest and put him on skates all the time. Stenberg was bullied last night. The Lions need to hope that newly signed Kendall Lamm can replace Nelson as OT-3 (I thought he looked promising last night). Holmes needs to also go out and sign a Ty Nsekhe type for some OT competition. Either that or sign the best waiver wire OT at cutdown day. The Lions just CAN'T go into this season without a better emergency plan at OT. I wouldn't be mad at one more addition at guard either.
4. ISAIAH BUGGS LOOKS PRETTY GOOD - I was an advocate of spending some the Lions draft capital this year on a mountainous DT like Jordan Davis (we would have had to trade down from 2) or Travis Jones (I would have taken him over Josh Paschal). Of course, Holmes didn't do that, and now he's been talking about how the Lions need some size on the DL (smh). Well last night, I thought Isaiah Buggs looked pretty powerful in the middle of the D-Line. I wasn't sure he was going to make the team. Now, I really think he should. Buggs showed me more than Jashon Cornell. Not only did he look stout inside, but he also showed excellent, "play-through-the-whistle" hustle.
5. ALL THE LIONS EDGES OVER PURSUE AND ABDICATE THEIR BACKSIDE CONTAIN RESPONSIBILITIES - I was an undersized, under talented edge in my playing days. But I kept making plays--and kept starting--because I played a "just in case" game. "The play's going away from me. I'll never make that tackle. Let me watch the QB on the handoff just in case he bootlegs. Let me take a deeper route through the opponents backfield on a run going away from me just in case it's a WR reverse. Let me laser focus on the tailback just in case it's an option and the QB pitches it to him instead of keeps it." Last night, NONE of the Lions edges played the "just in case" game. They all went flying like blind bats out of hell along the line of scrimmage on plays going away from them. Aiden Hutchison. Eric Banks. Anthony Pittman. Austin Bryant. AJ Parker on an edge blitz. They all did it, and the Falcons consistently used their aggressiveness against them with bootlegs to the now vacated backside. If Aaron Glenn doesn't read them the riot act about this tendency this week, then Aaron Glenn is the problem. If Dan Campbell doesn't read Glenn the riot act about this, then Campbell's the problem too.
6. DERRICK BARNES IS JARED DAVIS 2.0. - Barnes is all try hard and explosive athleticism. But, he has 0 feel for playing off-ball LB. I don't think he will ever get over this.