Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stanton Leads the Lions to Victory

After yesterday's game, the Lions' record has improved to 5-0 within the past two preseasons. The win against Atlanta was an outstanding game. It started a little slow, but the Lions took over in the end. I have not seen the Lions get a come-from-behind victory in a while. Yesterday's victory, even though most of it was played by the second and third stringers, was a classic.

From the very beginning of the game, the atmosphere of the fans was great. There was support for all three quarterbacks. When Culpepper was announced with the starting line up there were cheers. There were louder cheers when Stafford eventually came into the game. Although it was a great game, I fell that it really didn't tell us what we can expect from Culpepper and Stafford. They had absolutely no receivers to throw to.

The Detroit fans are great. The game started of with the usual singing of the National Anthem. The microphone cut out as the guy was singing it. All of the fans started singing it together in response. I thought that was pretty sweet. The game started with Atlanta on the offensive side. I thought about last year's season opener where Matt Ryan threw a bomb for a TD. They tried it again on the first play, but it was incomplete. I thought the defense looked solid, except on Turner's 40 yard TD run.

I was excited to see the new, slim and trim, Culpepper. Like I said earlier, there were no receivers to throw to, so Culpepper wasn't airing it out down field. He did seem like he was in much better shape. He proved to be pretty mobile when he was moving around in the pocket and on a couple keepers. He looked decent overall.

I was skeptical to see Matthew Stafford. He got plenty of cheers when he entered the game. He actually had some very nice passes, especially the touchdown to Derrick Williams. Unfortunately, most of these passes were dropped Keary Colbert. He could not hold onto the ball. He would have been off to the races for a TD with one of the drops. I was also impressed with Stafford's composure. He threw an interception for a touchdown and then came back by throwing a TD pass. That was impressive.

Then there was Drew Stanton. He did a good job in leading the offense and a great job getting the comeback win. He has the mobility to do anything, which he proved by running for 59 yards on only four rushes. I always wished that the Lions would have given him a real chance. I think he has some real potential.

There were two key to the game that I found to be most important. One was Aaron Brown. This kid has some skills. He is fast in the open field and can make people miss. I was glad to see this, especially after watching Cason ealy in the game. To me,Cason doesn't add much as a second running back. That is a position where Detroit may need some help. If Maurice Morris doesn't work out as a second option at RB, Brown might be able to make an impact. Speaking of running backs, Kevin Smith looked pretty good for the little time that he saw.

The other important thing that I noticed was the stats. On paper, Detroit easily beat Atlanta. They had 22 first downs! That's what I wanted to see. Even if they did not win, I want to see them move the ball down field. That is something that the Lions have always had trouble with. There are too many times where it was always three and out. Yesterday's game proved to be different.

I know it was just the preseason and it doesn't mean much, but I thought that the come-from-behind victory was huge. Could any group of guys have done that under Rod Marinelli. I'm not sure if they could have. Hopefully this win says something about Jim Schwartz and his coaching style. At this point, hope is all we can do.

If you missed the game, here are some links to the highlights from
Game Highlights
Matthew Stafford Highlights
Aaron Brown Highlights

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