Monday, August 20, 2012

Three Days Late Preseason "Live" Blog!

I was out of town Friday when the Lions faced the Ravens and was only able to watch the first half from afar on an off-brand 32" flat screen in a small New Mexican burger joint. The following is my thoughts upon rewatching the game in the comfort of my own home via DVR technology this morning.

First Quarter:
15:00 - Man, that NFL on FOX theme song is delicious. The following commentary on off-season issues...not so much. I guess we better get used to both.

10 minutes into my DVR and still no football played. Better get used to this, too, I guess.

14:56 - Spievey gets pancaked on opening kickoff after the whistle and doesn't go into rage mode. Progress.

14:56 - *offsides penalty* Nevermind.

12:43 - Avril. Flashes of the San Diego game. Great early recognition of the quick pass.

12:37 - Jacob Lacey does a good job disrupting the route, but a better receiver makes the catch on that third down play.

12:22 - Love how FOX focuses on Ray Lewis, followed by the Lions running right at him and gaining eight. Good seal by Raiola.

11:47 - I thought the panic over the replacement refs was overblown. I was wrong. Ugly stuff with the ball positioning. Was clearly a full yard short.

10:24 - Peterman with a BIG whiff, causing a 4 yard loss. The running game worries: they linger.

9:57 - Awful job the the offensive line on this third and long. Ravens blitz up the A-gap and neither Peterman nor Raiola recognize it. Meanwhile, Peterman whiffs again on the guy he is blocking. Not a good series for him.

8:44 - Flashes of Fairley dominance on this 2nd and short. He athletically swims past his guy and meets Ray Rice four yards into the backfield. Levy does a good job evading his block and cleaning up the mess.

8:02 - Crap call on Fairley. Once again, Lions' strength makes hit look more violent than they are. Hit was barely late.

6:40 - Corey Williams destroyed. Doesn't recognize the counter run, finds himself flat-footed, then thoroughly pancaked. Don't expect to see him around next year.

5:52 - Chris Houston with his second endzone breakup this drive.

5:32 - Helluva breakup by Wendling. If only that cleared my anxieties about secondary depth. If only.

3:05 - Combination of bad read by Stafford and Pettigrew getting out-physicalled on the near pick. Stafford had Burleson early for an easy first down, while Pettigrew couldn't break free of the linebacker.

2:07 - Detroit's defense gets fooled by misdirection plays twice in a row, completely erasing Phil Donahue's beautiful punt.

1:22 - Wow. Just brilliant job by Thom Brennaman to subtly suggest that Fairley's offseason antics caused him to line up offsides. "Looks like Nick Fairley lined up in the neutral zone. I'll tell ya what...Nick Fairley...arrested twice during the offseason...he's facing a pair of trials in his home state of Alabama." *REF CALLS OFFSIDES PENALTY ON DEANDRE LEVY* "Uh..that could've gone against Fairley or the guy it was called on DeAndre Levy." Good cover-up. (to be fair, the penalty should've been on Fairley, but still. Brennaman's a dick.)

1:00 - Levy. Another missed tackle. Has to be his third of the quarter.

Second Quarter

14:48 - Erik Coleman, great run-stopping angle and tackle. Very Delmas-esque. Wendling follows it up with a 3rd down sack. Safeties: stop trying to make me comfortable with you.

13:32 - Titus getting manhandled on a designed play to him. Schwartz getting hot.

12:50 - Logan. Drop. I just don't see his worth on offense. And given how little he ever gets to return kickoffs with new kickoff rule, I really don't see his worth on the team going forward.

12:20 - Just a meager 96-yard drive gained almost completely by Calvin. He's the only receiver I know that can embarrass a DB so bad that it draws an offensive pass interference penalty.

12:13 - Raven's offensive twos are in, while Lions stay with their ones. However, Bentley takes over the two-corner spot for Lacey.

12:08 - Refs are ALL-OVER illegal man down field rulings.

8:31 - Say what you will about the Lions running backs, but I love all of their vision. Always finding the hole...assuming one exists.

7:51 - Great play all around on the Titus TD. It looks as if Backus makes a mistake by leaving an unblocked player on the edge, but, in reality, he did the right thing. Baltimore sends more guys than they can block, so Backus takes the inside blitzer, giving Stafford just the extra second he needs. Matt does a great job getting rid of the ball quickly and in the face of a defender and Titus does the rest.

6:42 - Lions depth beyond the front four on defense looking awful. Ashlee Palmer with a couple mistakes, Tahir Whitehead with a missed tackle,

5:00 - Hey there, Ryan Broyles. Nice to meet you.

3:29 - Andre Fluellen with a great play. First, he squeezes through the line causing the quarterback out of the pocket. Then gets rewarded with a free, blind-side shot at him and takes full advantage.

2:51 - Reiff getting work on the right side (Fox on left). Struggling a bit. First, gives the end the outside free, where Shaun Hill happens to be scrambling, then lets an end come through unblocked on the next play (unsure whether that was his fault).

0:34 - Ashlee Palmer missed tackle. Drink!

Third Quarter

I don't care if I'm not in it, this is my new Christmas card.
13:56 - Not sure what's going on but Gerberry and Reiff not on the same page. Continually letting one man through unblocked.

8:54 - How many "Fire Stan Kwan" tweets did I miss?

6:25 - Just made an audible gasp when someone rolled up on Reiff's ankle. Wasn't aware he was made of pure rubber. By the way, he settled in nicely. Good drive here.

4:27 - Not going to waste a lot of time on Kellen Moore. Just know this: if he's playing, the Lions' season is over.

Fourth Quarter:

15:00 - Willie Young vs. third team special teamers. Not. Fair.

13:57 -
Jim Schwartz smiles. There is now photogenic evidence of this happening. He looks like he's straining his entire body to do so. I'm sure his face is still sore for stretching those muscles that clearly haven't been used in years.

13:18 - Lions fail to do the one thing I want to see them do: pick up a third and short on the ground. Of course, the scab refs blow it and give them the first down anyway.

12:50 - Joique Bell: how to look simultaneous awesome and terrible on a play.

12:00 - Not sure what Young is still doing in, but the Lions should be protecting their future golden goose. He disrupted nearly every play in this drive.

7:56 - DVR mercifully gives out in the middle of the most awkward-looking Kellen Moore drive.

Overall thoughts:

  • Lions offense still hasn't really found its rhythm outside of throwing the ball to Calvin. But I'm not exactly worried.
  • Defensive backfield held up pretty well. Good to see Houston make some plays.
  • Defensive depth behind first stringers...a bit worrisome. Lot of missed tackles by linebackers.
  • Reiff looked decent but hesitant. Still very much a rookie. 


  1. No overall thoughts on the safeties? They certainly have lessened my worries throughout the first couple quarters this preseason.

  2. I said towards the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second that the play of the safeties was making me uncomfortably comfortable with depth. Not going to read too much into preseason (especially against weak Ravens WRs) but Its nice to see Wendling and Coleman make plays.

    1. With Delmas (hopefully) coming back week 1 or 2, we'll actually have some kind of depth. Not much, granted, but some.

  3. Hopefully Delmas is ready for these dates. Coleman and Wendling and continue to improve and this season.