As we get ready for the game tonight, let’s check in with Pride Of Detroit to get some intel on the Detroit Lions.
Blogging The Boys: How confident is the Lions fanbase about making the playoffs?
Pride Of Detroit: Honestly, back around Thanksgiving signs looked good. The Packers were falling apart and the Giants looked a little different on the skin. It was a tough end schedule, but it was nothing that was otherworldly. Fast-forward and the Packers have been feasting on crap teams and the Lions are struggling under a mountain of injuries after a poor outing in New York. Making matters worse, the entire NFC has become utterly suffocating, so a wild card is probably not in the books.
There's more than a few fans already looking ahead to the Packers showdown on Sunday night, but a win would be some breathing room. Not much, but when your ship is drowning you take that pocket of air and cling to it. That's Hollywood magic baby. Breathe it in.
BTB: It happen a while ago, but update us Cowboys fans on how the Lions have adjusted to the absence of Calvin Johnson.
POD: What happened to the Lions after Calvin Johnson's retirement was a vast disservice for all sports writers. You see, without Megatron there was no one for them to immediately look to and pin the entirety of a season's outlook on. As such, this sudden departure broke the brains of not-very-smart writers and their season previews began, and ended, with the note that there is no Megatron, and thus the Lions should expect only about four wins.
This, of course, isn't actual analysis of a full 53-man roster, but these people get paid far more than I do, so what in the sam hell do I know about sports, huh?
The offense was already in flux before Megatron left the scene, and Stafford has taken great leaps to become a premier quarterback. There was promise of that early on but injuries have decimated the ground game and Stafford's slowly losing weapons as Marvin Jones gets banged up and Theo Riddick misses games. It's probably not keeping sustained success for this season, but the groundwork for the future is there and the Lions won't really miss him too much.
Still, I wouldn't say the offense is, fundamentally, better without him. It's just running efficiently when it's not trying to abortively run a ground game.
BTB: What's the latest on the status of Darius Slay and Theo Riddick?
POD: Excuse me while I straighten up and give my best Jim Caldwell impression. "Ummm...check the injury report."
Follow up questions? "Check the report."
That answers that.
(For real, the Lions are awful with updates on injuries. For all I know Theo Riddick's probably exploded.)
EDIT: At this moment, both are listed as doubtful with Slay not expected to play, Riddick’s status is still unknown.
BTB: The best way to contain Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense is...?
POD: While the Lions are dangerous on third and long, they have this weird notion that they must always get there by fussing about on the first two downs. The Lions ground game sucks but dammit if they're not committed to it, like Napoleon thinking it's a great idea to just march right up into Russia in the winter. Both are persistent, valiant and utterly stupid and doomed.
Without the starting center, Travis Swanson, it's probably easier to put pressure on Stafford than normal. While he won't make mistakes necessarily, he's down weapons and because of the aforementioned playcalling he won't have a lot of chances. The Lions feel comfortable with a lead. They like having the lead, blowing it and then furiously staging the comeback. As the Giants game showed, they don't really know how to play catch up for longer periods of time. Like the revolution of the proletariat, you must strike quickly and overwhelm the capitalist dogs.
BTB: The best way to attack the Lions defense is...?
POD: Rip and tear...RIP AND TEAR!