The Lions open up the season 0-2 for the third straight season after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 35-32. Detroit for the second straight week had the ball with less than 2 minutes left in the game either to tie or to score the go ahead touchdown. Unfortunately QB Shaun Hill, subbing in for the injured starting QB Matthew Stafford, threw four incomplete passes to end the rally.
One of the bright spots of the game was the play of Detroit’s rookie RB Jahvid Best. Best scored 3 TDS (2 run, 1 pass) and caught nine passes for 154 yards and rushed 17 times for 78 yards. Best electrified the home crowd with his speed especially in the open field. Best has scored 5 TDs in his first 2 games tying Lions record set by Billy Sims. He also became the first rookie in NFL history with at least 75 rushing yards, 150 receiving yards, and 3 TDs in one game. Best has become a playmaker to complement WR Calvin Johnson. For the past couple of seasons, defenses have blanketed Johnson and forced either the Lions to throw to another receiver or to try running the ball. This caused the Lions to struggle moving the ball and made Johnson a non-factor. Now teams have to concentrate on what Best is doing which should free up Johnson.
The Lions the past two games started off well as they had a double digit lead in both games in the 2nd quarter. The issue was both Chicago and Philadelphia scored quick touchdowns right before the half changing momentum. The Lions have not scored in the 3rd quarter in either game.
The Lions defense gave up abundance of yardage again in the loss against the Eagles. They did a good job of pressuring Michael Vick and sacked him 5 times, but the Eagles kept the Lions off balance with a mixture of run and pass. First round draft pick Ndamukong Suh recorded one sack and led the team with eight tackles. The season is still early, but it looks like the Lions maybe have found two playmakers through the 2010 draft.
The Lions go on the road for the next two weeks as they face the winless Minnesota Vikings. No timetable has been given on when Stafford will return, but based on the injury, it’s hard to see him playing on Sunday or at Green Bay the following week. QB Shaun Hill played okay as some of his passes were wobbly and he did throw 2 interceptions. But he did lead the team to 32 points so he is a solid backup QB. It would be hard to imagine what the outcome would be if QB Drew Stanton was now starting.
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Written by Bob Ballard