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.”

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