By David Boucher and H. Jose Bosch
There are three constants in live: death, taxes and the Lions sucking.
This week’s Lions exchange began in the preseason and finished just after Detroit’s 45-27 undressing to New Orleans. Notice some of the preseason optimism and how it nearly disappears after the game.
DB-Everyone that follows professional football knows about the position battle between incumbent Daunte Culpepper and the rich rookie Matt Stafford. Obviously the winner will have his work cut out for him, but is quarterback the team’s biggest problem? I think the defense, more specifically the secondary, poses a significantly more difficult situation for the Honolulu Blue. So, the re question for the Lions should be: What player, not including Culpepper or Stafford, will have the largest impact on the team? Or who needs to have that impact?
HJB-Larry Foote is the player Lions fans should keep an eye on this season. Especially after the loss of Jarrod Devries. The linebackers have become the defense’s strongest unit and will have to step up in a big way to give the Lions a chance to win and Foote needs to lead the charge. Not that Ernie Sims isn’t a good linebacker, but I think the presence of Foote will elevate Sims’ play and give the defense a leader that has a proven track record of winning. Who do you see making the biggest impact on the team?
DB-The person who needs to have the impact for the Lions is Anthony Henry. He was brought in to shore up the terrible secondary, exchanged for the former face of the franchise (Jon Kitna). If the Lions want to have any chance of winning, they need Henry to act the fool in passing lanes, blowing up QB’s in the back field and limiting the number of big plays the defense surrenders. He’ll be put to the test right away against the Saints, with Colston, Moore, Henderson and Shockey each able to catch numerous touchdown passes. In order for the Lions to win their first game in (gosh, I can’t even remember…) they need to cause some turnovers in order to keep the ball out of the hands of the phenomenal Drew Brees. Bosch, do the Lions have any hope of starting the season 1-0?
HJB-It’s almost more fun to post these after the fact because your last question looks comical following the first game. Was there even a secondary on the field on Sunday? There can’t be a secondary worse than Detroit and fantasy leagues across the country will consist of guys scrambling to sign any quarterback facing the Lions. My last question is this. If the over/under on Lions wins is 2.5, would you take the over?
DB-Just as I thought it would, the secondary was tested to the highest degree on Sunday, and understandably failed miserably. However, you can’t blame them when Drew Brees is not only able to pitch a tent in the pocket, but light a fire and toast marshmallows. The Lions need the likes of Cliff Avril and Julian Peterson to put some heat on the QB and take pressure off of their secondary.
As far as your second question goes, I’m a perpetual optimist: give me the over baby! I really think the Lions are going to score some points this season, and there are three games on their schedule I can definitely see them winning: at home vs. St. Louis and Cleveland and in Cincinnati to play the Bengals. None of these teams are all that special, and the Lions luck can’t be that bad, can they!? I see a few more plays falling their way, allowing them to take all three of these matches. And who knows, they may be able to steal one in Seattle and one in Arizona depending on how healthy Hasselbeck and Warner can stay down the stretch. Now, if you would’ve said four games…..
HJB-Fair enough but there is no way the Lions beat the Seahawks and Cardinals, even if Warner and Hasselbeck have broken throwing arms. The three teams you point out (St. Louis, Cleveland and Cincinnati) are legit picks to lose to Detroit. St. Louis and Cleveland are no good and the Bengals are so dysfunctional they aren’t even aware of the game.
But this is the Lions! When have they done something they were supposed to do, other than lose? All the years of being a Lions fan have conditioned me to believe that it can always get worse.