Let the story begin...
If you havent yet , read the title.
Yep , I said it. The Cleveland Browns haven't scored an offensive touchdown in seven straight games , the last six regular season games last year , and the first pre season game this year. Last week in their first pre season game , the Browns didn't even get a field goal. The Browns scored 0 points. The Lions defense made them look like a playoff team. The Lions special teams coverage unit made them look like a playoff team. The Lions offense made the Browns look like a team with one of the best defenses in football.
Drew Stanton seems to be the only Lions QB that can effectively move the offense at this point , and thats after 2 games. Daunte Culpepper had an opportunity to stretch the field and move the ball after the Lions were down by 20 , and he failed. I saw one nice pass for about 25 yards by Culpepper in the 3rd quarter. He still seems conservative in the passing game.
The Lions special teams coverage looked like they were asleep. Aveion Cason was still returning kickoffs. The Lions know what they have there , one would think they would want to see Derrick Williams or Aaron Brown back there. Cason looked ok , just nothing spectacular , no great burst of speed , no quick cuts. Cason seems to play with the same level of energy week in and week out , and its flat.
The defense looked bad , period. Nobody seemed to be able to shed any blocks and make a play , they all seemed content to be blocked out of the play. The tape will show a 'I didn't have a shot at a tackle there , I was blocked , so its not my fault' mentality.
The Lions scored 3 points on a field goal in the first half. An interception set up that field goal with about 5 seconds on the clock. The Lions could have sent in the offensive unit and tried to throw a long ball there , they didn't. I think Jim Schwartz wanted to see Swayze Waters kick a 50 plus yard field goal.
On Stafford Vs. Culpepper:
Matthew Stafford looked like I thought he might , and this was just a pre season game. He was full of energy and didn't seem to be able to settle down and get into the game. Rookie nerves. He had too much mustard on the ball , again nerves. The 3-4 defense seemed to have him confused. The offensive line didn't help much. I think it was the second or 3rd posession when he had a 3rd and 2. I thought run play , Stafford dropped back to pass. Kevin Smith didn't release down the field in a route , but looked to pick up any blitz. Dominic Raiola gave up the pressure right up the middle , and Stafford threw an incomplete pass to the left.
The offensive line once again failed to help the running game up the middle or to the left in the first half. After Culpepper came in , he got into a 3rd and short , and Cason got the handoff. He got stuffed for a loss up the middle. The Lions also got stuffed on a 4th and one running play.
I thought the linebackers made a few good plays here and there , but once again proved 3 linebackers can't stop 11 guys. Larry Foote was involved in several plays defensively. The defensive line needs to play better , the secondary got torched early and often. Louis Delmas did make his presence felt at safety with a great hit on a Browns receiver in the first quarter. Phillip Buchanon and Anthony Henry , the cornerbacks for the Lions , did not play that well. Gunther Cunningham did call a nice delayed safety blitz on a Browns 3rd down , and safety LaMarcus Hicks almost got the sack , forcing a bad throw.
Drew Stanton threw a touchdown pass in his first offensive series at QB for the Lions. That seemed to wake up the Browns , who were napping after scoring 20 points in the first quarter. The Browns second offensive unit responded by marching down the field and scoring.
5 for 13 , 34 yards , no TDs , 1 INT and a completion percentage of 38.5%
10 for 16 , 86 yards , no TDs , and a completion percentage of 62.5%
5 for 12 , 66 yards , 1 TD , and a completion percentage of 41.7%
Jordan Dizon quietly had a nice game on defense , recording 6 solo tackles. He is all over the field , getting to the ball. Larry Foote had 3 tackles. Anthony Henry had 4 tackles.
Matthew Stafford threw one interception.
The following Lions had 1 fumble each:
Aveion Cason , Jerome Felton , Derrick Williams , Matthew Stafford , and Demir Boldin
I still think Daunte Culpepper is the Lions starting quarterback at the beginning of the season.
Ok , full circle.
I am calling out the special teams coverage unit. I could have played better , and made some stops. I am 6' and weigh about 185 - 190 pounds. With a strenght and conditioning coach , I could add 30 pounds and still have speed. Coverage is about reading where the return blockers are setting up , watching the ball , and getting the angle to make the tackle. The Lions looked like they were sleeping on the field. I would play for the league minimum , and outplay most of the players I saw in this game if they continue to play that way.
Put me in coach.