Thursday, September 12, 2013

Detroit Lions questions heading into week 2

The Detroit Lions beat a divisional opponent, one their home opener, and snapped an eight game regular season losing streak in week one. Now comes the challenge of week 2 and the first road game of 2013 versus the Arizona Cardinals. The Lions have not faired well out in the dessert. There are a number of challenges and some big questions that week two will go a long way towards answering.

First of all the Lions record against the Arizona Cardinals is not very good. They have won just three of their last 11 meetings. They have lost the last six regular season games played in Arizona going all the way back to 1999. They have not defeated the Red Birds since 2005 at home and if this team wants to silence some of its critics it needs to go out and play a disciplined game and win on the road.

The Cardinals had an identical 3-1 pre-season record, but lost in week one to the St. Louis Rams. The offensive names to watch are QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald. The Lions defense will have to work hard this week, and it will surely be a big test for them.

We move on to the biggest questions of week two for the Lions:

  • Reggie Bush- Reggie wants to prove to everyone he can be an every down back, and he can carry the load for a team. The Lions are more than willing to give him that chance. However after a pre-season where not much film was shot of Mr. Bush how will his week one performance affect what the Cardinals do on defense? 
  • Calvin Johnson- The plan was to get a piece for the offense that would open up Calvin in the receiving game. Last week was the Reggie show with Calvin only caught 4 balls for 37 yards. If the Arizona defense keys on Reggie more will Scott Linehan and QB Matthew Stafford have a game plan in place to get the ball to Calvin? Can the Lions offense stretch the Cardinals defense. 
  • The Lions defense- the Lions shut down Adrian Peterson in week one on all but one big play. The challenge in week two is far greater, and something they are no as suited for. Can the secondary step up and lock down Fitzgerald and the Cardinals passing game. Palmer is a veteran QB who can pick apart a defense if he is given the time too. 
  • Jim Schwartz- a week one win cools his seat a little, but this is a guy who needs his team to win 8 game minimum to keep his job. Putting together a playoff run would be the best way to prove he is the right man for this job. If he fails not only his his job in jeopardy but the job of GM Martin Mayhew not to mention the rest of the coaching staff and personnel shot callers. 
  • Ndamukong Suh- The Lions need him to be more effective, need him to get more pressure on the QB especially this week, and they need him to keep his head about him and not take silly penalties. He need to be a leader and disrupt the Cardinals offense this week. 
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