What I saw
Detroit Lions week one
What now? Do I write them off completely? I can't let myself do that, but my expectations have been lowered.
The most disheartening part of the game against the Falcons has to be the Lions run defense. Over 300 yards running? Not good. But when you have a linebacking corp made up of mostly journey men type players, that will happen. Couple that with the fact that a front four that is supposedly top tier in the NFC got no push and a defensive backfield that can't tackle, you have a recipe for disaster.
It didn't help that rookie QB Matt Ryan hit a 60 some yard touchdown strike in his first pass ever in an NFL game, keeping the DB's on their heels from there out. As the game progressed, the front line continued to get no pressure on Ryan, making his pro debut pretty comfortable except for a couple of times when the rook couldn't find anyone downfield and ended up going to the turf.
So where was DE Duane White? Where was his counterpart Jared DeVries? Where was defensive captain Cory Redding? Surely not engulfing Ryan.
The Lions D-line is overrated. Our coaches are going to have to swallow their pride and send a LB or too from time to time, since the season isn't going to get any easier. Of course that's a risky move, since Travis Fischer, who got burnt on Ryan's first score, may be on an island with a receiver, but that's a risk the Lions will have to take throughout the rest of the season. I know our defense, the Tampa two, is based on a bend, don't break mentality, but when nobody's tackling, it's time to take a gamble. It may lead to a big play for the offense but if our defense can make a big play, like a sack for a loss, fumble or interception due to a bad throw under pressure from an opposing QB, it'd be worth it.
For the sake of Marinelli and the coaching staff, I hope they step it up and be more aggressive going after the passers. If not, this season may not accomplish anything but setting the team back even further than it already is.