With the Cowboys facing the Lions on Sunday, we engage Pride of Detroit in a little Q&A to get the scoop.
Blogging The Boys: Jeff Driskel, is he for sure going to be the starter? What kind of quarterback is he and is there confidence in him?
Pride of Detroit: All signs are pointing to it. Driskel didn’t look like a pro-bowler against Chicago by any means, but he did just about all you can reasonably expect from a backup. He went through his reads well and with the exception of a bad interception looked pretty sharp most of the day. He also brings some mobility to the quarterback position. The most promising part is his grasp of the offense; He wasn’t told until Sunday morning that he would start against the Bears, yet the Lions ran more hurry up and wrinkles with him under center than they have in any game thus far with Stafford, and that speaks towards how much the coaching staff trusts him.
BTB: What’s the general feeling on Matt Patricia and how much time will he get to be the coach?
POD: The consensus seems to be that Patricia will get another year, barring an absolute implosion the rest of the season from the Lions. Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn are tied to each other, and they have a clear vision of how they want to build the roster. It seems like they’ll get one more offseason to do so. Anything short of the playoffs next season, however, will send them both out the door.
BTB: What have been the bright spots so far for the Lions?
POD: The ability to move the ball is really new for the Lions this year. Darrell Bevell was the perfect hire for Stafford, combining play action with Stafford’s cannon of an arm to move the ball downfield -- both of which former offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter was allergic to. With that comes some stellar individual performances. Matthew Stafford is having indisputably his best season (often overlooked due to the defense blowing every other game), and Kenny Golladay has really grown into a #1 receiver for the Lions.
BTB: For the Lions to win, what would have to happen?
POD: It would take a total revival of the Lions’ front seven. The defensive line has been hammered by injuries and the linebackers are, quite frankly, not good. They would need to neutralize Ezekiel Elliot and remain disciplined against play-action in order to have a chance. I don’t think the Lions defense has the speed to match up with the Cowboys offense, so I expect them to play a lot of zone, but that too doesn’t usually end well. To fix that, they need to hope that the defensive line can put pressure on Dak and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. On offense, Driskel can’t make any blatantly stupid decision and the coaching staff has to abandon their addiction to establishing the run game, because it’s atrocious. It’ll be a tall order.
BTB: Give us your prediction of how the game will go.
POD: The Lions will jump out to an early lead, but it’ll be gone by early second quarter and there won’t be any looking back. Matt Patricia will continue to push his agenda of establishing the (non-existent) running game at the cost of actually gaining yardage. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Zeke has his best game of the year; barring last Sunday against Chicago, the Lions’ defensive line has just been a mess. Last time the Lions played the Cowboys, Zeke put up 240 yards of scrimmage--I would expect him to challenge that total on Sunday. If the Cowboys utilize play action to bait the Lions’ trigger-happy linebackers, things could get ugly very quickly. 37-19, Cowboys.
Thanks for the knowledge, Pride of Detroit.