Aug 17, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (middle) prepares for a snap against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at M

Observations From Lions Win over Ravens


The Lions got off to a slow start on the first few possessions against the Ravens on Friday night, but caught fire late in the first quarter and eventually came out with a 27-12 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Here are some observations on Friday nights game.

Jim Schwartz Is A Genius

The Ravens defense will be the best test for the Lions offense this preseason, and it was a brilliant call by Schwartz to leave the starters in a bit longer as they play a tough 49ers team, who handed the Lions their first loss last season in week two. The best way to test your offense isn’t at practice and Schwartz took advantage of the opportunity of playing a stout Ravens defense to prepare for a tough season ahead.

Lions Passing Game Will Be Just Fine

Still worried about that poor performance from Stafford and the rest of the offense against the Browns in last week? Stafford was 8 0f 10 with a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the second quarter.

It was exciting to see the dynamic duo in Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson back in action hooking up on five occasions for 111 yards and one touchdown. Then, fans finally got to see Titus Young show what he’s been showing the coaches this off season with his first touchdown catch of the year from Matthew Stafford.

 John Wendling Can Play

Wendling was the only player that stood out in the secondary. He had a terrific pass break up on a perfectly thrown pass by Joe Flacco, and a nice sack on Flacco as well. Wendling’s performance should make Lions fans feel better about Louis Delmas’s injury going into the season, although there are still many reasons to be concerned about the Lions’ secondary that is searching for its identity.

Willie Young Will Be A Great Player For The Lions

What made Cliff Avril so valuable for the Lions last year was his ability to force turnovers. So far this preseason,  Willie Young has a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, and a punt block. If Young can replicate his preseason performance in the regular season, the Lions’ will feel better about letting possibly letting Avril walk next off season.

Mikel Leshoure Needs To Be The Answer For The Lions’ Run Game

It’s only the second week in the preseason, but the Lions didn’t look very impressive in the run game outside of a few five yard runs by the first unit and a touchdown by Stephfon Green late in the fourth quarter. To be fair the Lions didn’t need to be impressive in the run game as their passing game caught fire.

If the Lions can find the answer at running back this season, they should be able to improve their third down percentages which ranked 20th last season in the NFL. Improving the run game could prove to be the difference between a playoff run and a third place finish in the NFC North.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Jim Schwartz Matthew Stafford Willie Young