Saturday, September 6, 2008

NFL Blogging: Dirty Birds (Game One)

Professional football also kicks off this week, having already gotten underway with a perfectly timed Giants victory over the Redskins that led into McCain's convention speech. This Sunday is when my hometown team and perpetual embarrassment, the Lions first take the field after going unbeaten in a meaningless preseason.

Frankly, I don't see them doing much better than last year and will consider an 8-8 record an accomplishment. The passing game looks solid. Kitna's...well, Kitna's Kitna but the receiving corps looks pretty solid with the young guns looking to break out before free agency breaks them up (With both Johnson and Williams, they have two good threats to help stretch the field. Which is good. But that means two star receivers and that's not a situation that lasts very long once it comes time to pass around the contracts - one or the other is gone in the space of a few years, mark my words.). And the defense promises to be better, too, if only as a case of addition by subtraction. The question mark is the running game. And, no, the question isn't "Are you sure your property is properly labeled with your name and address and a in case of lost found, please contact sticker?" It's whether the green platoon of backs will be able to carry that load coaching staff's commitment to the run could or should waver, should it be proven they can't.

Even if everything goes right, the Lions are still suffering from a serious talent deficit. Which is amazing considering how long they've been bad and all the high draft picks they've gotten over the years (*cough*Millensucks*cough* and most of those were busts, of course.) but it means they really have to play above their potential if they want to compete. And, really, I don't think they can.

They get rather lucky this week, though, with a visit to the Atlanta Falcons who've cut Joey Harrington and are at the start of the Matt Ryan era. I expect that a rookie quarterback will struggle. And as woeful as the Lions are I expect that even that can capitalize on that.

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