Gameday thread: Detroit Lions (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)

Game Information

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT
Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Television: WWJ-TV 62/CBS
Play-By-Play: Gus Johnson
Color: Desmond Howard
Sidelines: Matt Shepard
Lions Radio Network: 97.1 FM The Ticket (WXYT-FM)
Play-By-Play: Dan Miller
Color: Jim Brandstatter
Sidelines: Tony Ortiz
2008 Preseason Records: Lions, 1-0; Bengals 1-0
2007 Records: Lions, 7-9; Giants 7-9
Point Spread: Lions +3.5, O/U 35, as per BetUS
Fan Sided’s Opposition Blog: Stripe Hype

Big Al’s “10 things I’m watching, dammit!”

Improvement in the running game – Time for Kevin Smith to take a stranglehold of the number 1 spot on the RB depth chart.

Run blocking – It can’t be any worse than last week, can it?

Gosder Cherilus vs. Mr. “Can’t Remember The Snap Count” – Time for the number 1 draft pick to also make his move on the depth chart, unseating the yellow flag waiting to happen, George Foster.

Pass rush: It would be nice to see one, and would help the defensive backs (who played well last week) immensely

Dan Orlovsky vs. Drew Stanton: Stanton showed flashes against the Giants, but Orlovsky was more polished, looking downfield to make plays.

Jordon Dizon vs. Buster Davis: One these guys has to be better than Paris Lenon, right?

Rod Marinelli’s game management: Marinelli’s in-game decision making has long been a sore spot to me. He looked much more comfortable and decisive against the G-Men, managing the clock correctly and winning a challenge, let’s see if his maturation as a head coach continues.

Special teams: They have been not so special so far. We need to see a bast improvement on both the retuirn and coverage teams. Can we just “FIRE KWAN” already?

Running QB’s: The naked bootleg and QB rollout are supposed to be big factors in Jim Colletto’s new offense. It worked last week, as Jon Kitna was able to use the extra time to find Calvin Johnson for big yards. Let’s see if the Lions continue to use the high risk/high reward play calling of having their QB’s on the run.

Health: Not the status of my mental health, but the Lions ability to stay relatively injury free. They just don’t have the depth to overcome injuries to their starters.

See you in the comments!

Update 6:50 PM: Killer Kowalski is reporting Kevin Smith is getting the start tonight. It’s not due to an injury to Tatum Bell. As Arte Johnson used to say on Laugh In  (An old, obscure reference for you kids out there…), “Verrrrrry interesting.”

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    Dizon doesn’t look so hot in coverage.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Bah. 2nd string D gives up a TD.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Lions have dominated the 1st half, yet the game is tied. If this were the regular season, I’d be getting real cranky! It’s hard to get all up in arms during the 2nd exhibition.

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    Nice kick return! 

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Dizon has a lot to learn. Which is why Lenon will be the likely starter on opening day.

    Nice return by Middleton!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Time for Dan O to show us something with a late drive.

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    What happened to the run offense?

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    I guess being so close to the end of the half means no running but that was a great pass – to the DB.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Man, I thought they had something going on the screen! Just sort of fell apart.

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    Alright, I am out for halftime.  Should be back for the second half!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    That’s a good question, Dave. For a team supposedly committed to the run, they only called 9 rushes in the 1st half. But when Cincy can’t cover CJ or Roy, I can see why they did throw.

    It’s obvious the running game isn’t the same when Bell is in the backfield. It was much more effective with Smith.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    And aaaaway we go with the 2nd half. Buster Davis knocking the ball loose on a blitz, Fitzpatrick falling on his own fumble.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Lions’ D with a 3 and out! Nice series by the backups.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    We have a Brian Calhoun sighting!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Big time block on the Calhoun run by Saun McHugh, Pancaked a LB!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    The running game is starting to click a little with Calhoun. Nothing big, but he’s getting chunks.

    As soon as I type that, he gets blown up. Not his fault, though.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    You want to make the team, Calhoun, you cannot put the ball on the turf.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    And the drive peters out. But Rayner drills a FG from 49! 10-7 good guys.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Things I’m getting tired of:

    The Comcast/Wii ads during the Olympics.
    Progressive Insurance ads, even if “Flo” is kinda hot.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Just fliupped over to the Olympics during the break. I’m sorry, but I can’t get into men’s gymnastics. Just can’t do it.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Bengals in the no-huddle. It’s working so far.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Cincy driving. Time for the D to stiffen! Bend, but don’t break! Make plays! OK, I’m out of cliches.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    You were a great player Charlie Sanders, but you are severely wanting as sideline reporter.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Well, how about that? A goal line stand for the Lions defense! When the last time we’ve seen that from the Leos? I know, it’s all backups and so to be cut players, but it was still nice to see.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    OK, it’s time to give up on the bootleg when Orlovsky is in the game. Seriously, he can’t run, can’t make anyone miss. You might have gotten away with that call deep in your own end with Kitna or Stanton, but not with Dan O.

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    Wooo the bootleg Killer said would be a staple in the offense.  Nearly resulted in a safety!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    And Lions special teams rear their ugly, ugly head. Awful punt coverage. Bengals with excellent field position. “FIRE KWAN!”

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    And the bad punt coverage give the Bengals a shot at a long FG. 10-10 game.

    I think it’s time for the Sparty, Drew Stanton to the rescue?

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Nope, Dan O going to finish the 3rd.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    10-10 game going into the 4th.

    Not as good of a performance from Dan O compared to last week.

    10-20, 90 yards. 50% and a 4.6 Y/A isn’t going to cut it.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    And as soon as I complain about Dan O, he hits the long 45 yard pass. But if it isn’t under thrown, it’s a TD.

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    Nice route by Standeford!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Pinner with the big run. Pinner and Smith have been the most effective backs tonight.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    A draw to Calhoun? Not what I would have called.

    Anyway, the Lions lead, 13-10.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Another 3 and out for the Lions’ D! Now is it time for Sparty’s finest?

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Drew Stanton is in the game. About time.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    That’s what Stanton can do. It looked like a sure sack, and he’s able to squirm out of trouble and run for the 1st.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    STANTON! 50 yards to Middleton! TD! Yes!

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    Stanton to Middleton.  Nice!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    I thought Stanton didn’t look downfield enough last week. This is what I want to see, downfield throws to WR’s instead of swing passes to RB’s.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Avril! SACK! Bengals have to punt again!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Moore with the nice punt return! About time someone made the first wave miss!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Come on, Artose. You DON”T run out of bounds!

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    That’s more like it, Pinner moving the pile…

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Cool, Lions running the ball well, and running the clock along with it.

  • http://gorillacrouch.com/ Dave

    Stanton making a case for being #2.  Nice defensive effort too.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    Stanton scores on the bootleg, fools everyone, including the camerman! TD! Nice play fake by Stanton, and play call by Jim Colletto.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    So far the battle for backup is 1-1. Dan O looked better in game 1, Stanton betrter in game 2.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    This is more like it. Lions are going to win, and the game is on track to be done is less than 3 hours. If you got to sit thru 4 exhibitions, let’s make the games quick.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Big Al

    SACK! Avril again!