Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford played just over 5 minutes in the Lions’ first preseason game. During that span, Stafford threw for 2 TDs including a 26 yard TD pass to WR Calvin Johnson as the Lions rolled over the young Cincinnati Bengals 34-3. Stafford’s line – 6 for 7, 71 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Int .
Now it’s hard not to get excited as Stafford was dead on as his only incompletion went right through the hands of RB Jahvid Best. The defense was solid as well, but the Bengals have there own issues on offense especially at QB with no Carson Palmer. Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton made his NFL debut by throwing an interception on his first attempted pass. Dalton was harassed throughout the game and even was body slammed by Lions DT All-Pro Ndamukong Suh – Suh was accessed with a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty.
But come on, the Lions need to do more than just win a meaningless preseason game against Cincinnati. Stafford and Calvin only played 5 minutes. They both need to stay healthy throughout the regular season for the Lions to become a playoff caliber team. The Lions also need to solidify the secondary and find depth at RB especially with the injury to Mikel LeShoure. The Lions rushing stat line - an embarrassing 70 yards on 33 carries – a 2.1 yards per carry against Cincy. Sure, Friday’s game was a nice win as it validates that the team is going in the right direction. But fans have recently been down this road before in 2008 as the Lions went undefeated in the preseason (4-0). Of course, the Lions flipped that record during the regular season as they went 0-16. Only time will tell.
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Written by Bob Ballard