Sunday, October 18, 2009

On Tap: Lions at Packers

Well, one final game before the Lions head into a Bye Week. And then the winning begins! So far, I'm 5-0 on the season in terms of predictions. Hooray. Now, onto the game.

The Detroit Lions haven't won in Green Bay since 1991 - the year they won the NFC Central, won their first playoff game since 1957, and went to the NFC Title game (which actually was in January of 1992, but for some odd reason, NFL talking heads always refer to that season as though the playoffs occurred in 1991). They won't snap the streak today.

Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback for the Packers, is good. Really, really good. The rest of the team can't seem to come around to his level of play, which is why they're 2-2. They just managed to talk Mark Tauscher out of retirement to fill a big, nasty void at Right Tackle. (I know positions aren't proper nouns, but it's a habit I've gotten into for reasons I can't explain)

I think the Lions are starting to turn a corner, by the way. Sammie Hill is getting a lot of valuable experience at Defensive Tackle. Gunther Cunningham, Defensive Coordinator, has been quick to praise him in the media. If he is the real deal, the Lions may have made quite the steal with their 4th round draft pick. If they're confident that he is going to be a stud DT, then maybe they should consider taking a DB with their 1st round pick next year, providing they switch to a 3-4 defense.

I'm not sure what the situation is with the carousel at Cornerback. Now that Eric King has been lost for the season, Detroit seems to be constantly switching it up. Philip Buchanon who was benched in Week 3 is apparently playing again.

The real interesting thing to watch with the defense is if they will end up converting to a 3-4 defense with the way the Linebackers are all playing. Ernie Sims, Julian Peterson, Larry Foote, and rookie DeAndre Levy have all demonstrated play-making capabilities, but they all can't be on the field at the same time in a 4-3 scheme that is currently being employed. Since you can't switch schemes in the middle of the season, we may see the Lions embracing the defense next year and forgoing selecting a DT with their 1st round pick in April.

I predict the Lions will be picking in the top 10 again next year, and maybe in the top 5, given how bad so many teams are at this point. My guess is they'll fall somewhere between 4 and 8 come April.

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On to the game - getting back to Rodgers, all he'll need to do today is throw the ball. Realistically, the Lions aren't playing with QB Matt Stafford, nor WR Calvin Johnson. In other words, they're toast.

Daunte Culpepper is losing stock at this point. He was awful last week against Pittsburgh. The interception in the late 3rd quarter was not the kind of play you expect from a guy who's been in the NFL for 10 years. It may just be rust from not playing in five weeks.

Nonetheless, Green Bay has it in the bag.

Detroit 17
Green Bay 34

Back in a couple of weeks unless I decide to post a comment about something other than the Lions. Because I hate Jon & Kate. And I hate the "Balloon Boy."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On Tap: Pittsburgh at Detroit

Apparently, it's been brought to my attention that the Steelers' fans have purchased a bunch of tickets and that's why today's game at Ford Field isn't blacked out. So I expect to see a lot of terrible towels at the game today. At least I get to watch it on TV.

I don't want to even get into predicting the score of the outcome. It's last year's Super Bowl champions vs. last year's 0-16 Lions. Steelers will win.

Prediction:

Steelers: More points
Lions: Less

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I can't believe how many teams at this point haven't won a game. The Lions have a better record than six other teams, all of whom have yet to win a game this year. Carolina, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Tennessee all haven't won any games. Carolina is 0-3, the rest are 0-4.

I don't know how the draft would fair out if the season ended today for the non-playoff teams. I'm guessing they would fall to the No. 11 spot in the first round. But this is why we play the game.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

On Tap: Detroit at Chicago

Even though the Lions won last week, and even though a huge cloud has been collectively lifted over every Lions fan, and even though I'm 3-0 with my predictions, I am only now posting another blog entry. This is what happens when school, work, and life happen altogether at once.

Anyway, on to Chicago. The Lions are playing at Soldier Field. Their last road victory came there...in 2007.

Conventional wisdom says it's usually two steps forward and one step back. Then again, I've always believed conventional wisdom isn't. I do believe the Lions will lose again today. So many factors - Chicago's QB Jay Cutler is hitting his stride, Detroit's Matt Stafford hasn't played outdoors in the pros (except in college and the preseason), and Detroit still being a subpar all lead me to believe it's going to be a bad day for the Lions.

My brother-in-law mocked me for calling the game for Chicago, only because it wouldn't take much of a leap of faith to predict the outcome. True, but the size of the outcome might be more of a stretch. Chicago RB Matt Forte is averaging 2.5 yards per carry, but today he's due for a breakout game.

This one's in the bank for Chicago.

Detroit 24
Chicago 41.