The Lions were not as sharp as Matt Patricia would have liked in their 16-10 loss to the Raiders, but much of what was a problem is very correctable. That should be the focus of what we take away from the game.
The Lions offensive line seemed to be over-matched on several occasions, but when you consider how often the Raiders stacked the box on defense, it wasn’t necessarily a surprise that they had difficulty with this tactic.
The surprise was that the Raider tipped their defensive hand so much by stacking the box so often.
In general, when the Lions O-line wasn’t overwhelmed by sheer Raider numbers, they did fairly well. So the Raiders defense owning the line of scrimmage in a game that the Lions didn’t game plan for, wasn’t the end of the world.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders O-line was considered one of the best in the league last season and it often looked like it against the Lions new multiple front defense.
The biggest concern, however, was how easily they were able to get to the edge against Matt Patricia’s defensive unit. That’s pretty much rule number one in any type of defense; set the edge and force the runner to turn inside where there should be help to make the tackle.
The Raiders got to edge often and the secondary spent much of the night putting their tackling skills on display.
That was something that definitely raised Matt Patricia’s blood pressure because it is basic defense 101, but again, it’s very correctable. And don’t believe for a minute that the Lions won’t spend a little extra time this week working on setting those edges defensively.
Any team will struggle if they lose their starting quarterback to injury, but especially in the Lions case, if Matthew Stafford goes down, the season will definitely be over.
Cassell and Rudock both need to be better. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if general manager Bob Quinn has already made looking for a signal-caller to back up Stafford a priority.
It’s only one preseason game, but both Cassell and Rudock in no way shape or form left the fans with any confidence in their ability to win games if they had to. I was already believing that Bob Quinn was going to enter next years draft looking for a possible successor for Stafford as well as filling the team’s other needs, but Friday night did nothing to make think otherwise.
However, despite all that, there were some definite positives.