August 25, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) stands in the huddle during a timeout against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Five Wide: the Detroit Lions dress re-Hearse-al

 

The Lions were lucky to escape Saturday night with only a handful of injuries to key players, but thank God none of the injuries seemed too serious. After the third quarter, I was saying to my television, “why are we even playing this game? Let’s just get on the plane now and get home without anyone else falling victim to a stupid injury.” Outside of injuries, there were five other things that I saw that were quite telling about the Detroit Lions. And with that, let’s go five wide…

  • Last night Matthew Stafford did that thing he does every now and then during the regular season where he goes almost an entire game without even looking Calvin Johnson’s way. I hate that. I understand the magnitude of coverage that gets rolled CJ’s way, but sometimes Stafford just has to do his best Denard Robinson impersonation and throw it up there for the tallest man to grab the ball out of the sky (e.g. Johnson in the end zone against Dallas with three men on him in 2011). I don’t know if Stafford was trying to get the other receivers involved more, preserve Johnson’s health or just make me mad?
  • Shaun Hill looked lost and out of sync. Hopefully, for the Detroit Lions, Hill only plays in garbage time this season, assuming the Lions are blowing out a team or, unfortunately, being blown out themselves. A lot of Hill’s passes were behind the guys he was trying to get the ball to, but, boy, did his running sure look good. I had to dust off the old 2010 Shaun Hill moniker I had once given him: Crazy Legs.” Crazy Legs was on fire last night. He looked better running the ball than Mikel Leshoure did.
  • Speaking of Leshoure, he had a mediocre to average debut Saturday. His cutbacks were impressive for a guy recovering from an Achilles injury, but he just didn’t get down field as well as I thought he would. Let’s face it, he’s no longer facing Greg Robinson’s putrid Michigan defense of 2010 where he once bellied the ball outside all day for over 200-yards rushing. Leshoure now faces linebackers with better closing speed than those backers that he had once faced in the Big Ten. As soon as Leshoure can assimilate to the NFL style of running, I think he will be able to be a very productive back for the Lions.
  • Kellen Moore will not be making the final 53-man roster. At this point, I don’t think Captain Check-down should even warrant the Lions’ brass using a practice squad shirt on him. Can he honestly, or even effectively, play scouting team quarterback against the starting defense in practice? I don’t think so. I do not think that he helps the Lions prepare for their regular season opponents because he doesn’t have a true NFL arm. I love the guy and I loved watching him on Saturday’s, but I think the only way I will love watching Moore on Sunday’s is if he grabs a headset and turns into a head coach, which most media members anticipate he will be great at doing.
  • The refs really blew it last night. There were mucked up pass interference calls, encroachment calls that weren’t blown until after the ball was snapped and ran five yards, and, most importantly, turnovers. It is time to get that labor dispute solved pronto because the refs should not be deciding the outcome of a game by blowing turnover calls.

Tags: Detroit Lions NFC North NFL Oakland Raiders

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