An infirmary should’ve been set up on the Lions sideline in their 27-10 drubbing at the horns of the Vikings. The physicality enforced by Minnesota tore through player after player for Detroit.
It started before kickoff when Louis Delmas’ tooth infection kept him on the bench for the entire afternoon. That was a serious setback as Marquand Manuel had to fill in at safety and the combo of Manuel – Ko Simpson were very much responsible for Vikings receiver Sidney Rice going virtually undetected for 201 yards total in the contest. An endless array of injuries throughout the game left the Lions with only four healthy players able to play in the secondary in the fourth quarter. Starting offensive guard Stephen Peterman also went down with what appeared to be a semi-serious lower leg injury when he was rolled up by the Vikings rush.
And what a rush that was. Just ask Matthew Stafford. He was hit or on the ground on at least 70% of his dropbacks. The kid might need a flak jacket next week, because he really took some punishment against the dominant Minnesota front four of the Williams Wall, Jared Allen and the severely underrated left end Ray Edwards. Edwards terrorized Gosder Cherilus all day and Jon Jansen couldn’t slow down Edwards when Cherilus left with an injury as well.
Stafford needs help up front. He has no time to deliver the football in the right spots because the offensive line is imploding around him on every play. Its imperative that Detroit seeks as much line help in the 2010 off-season as possible. Through the draft and free agency, the Lions must do whatever it takes to create an NFL-caliber unit on the O-line. Despite being harassed all day, Stafford performed admirably (hey, at least he didn’t throw an interception). A plus in a day with a ton of minuses.