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  1. #1
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
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    A Look At The Opponent - Detroit

    A Look At The Opponent - Detroit
    Saturday, September 30, 2006

    By Duane Lewis

    The Detroit Lions were one of 10 teams to make a coaching change in 2006, tapping Rod Marinelli as the man to lead the franchise. Marinelli comes to the Lions from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he spent 10 seasons as defensive line coach, and from 2002-2005 also served as assistant head coach.

    Known for his hard-nosed coaching style, Marinelli looks to turn around a franchise that has not had a winning season since 2000 and has not earned a postseason berth since 1999. The Lions are off to an 0-2 start as they organization learns the Marinelli Way of football.

    Detroit tabbed veteran Jon Kitna as their quarterback. The Lions offense had their best performance last week against Green Bay scoring 24 points, 11 points more than they had scored in the first two games combined.

    Kitna had his best game of the young season last week against Green Bay, completing 25 of 40 passes for 342 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Kitna completed seven passes to WR Roy Williams for a career-best 139 yards and one touchdown. Williams' 16 receptions (for 245 yards) this season ties him for the team lead.

    RB Kevin Jones leads the Lions rushing attack. The third-year back from Virginia Tech rushed for 81 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries last week and was effective in the passing game with five receptions for 44 yards.

    Jones leads the Lions in rushing with 160 yards on 43 carries (3.7 avg) and is tied with Williams for the team lead in receptions with 16 for 127 yards.

    A pair of former Rams are in the Lions' receiving corp. Former receiver/safety Mike Furrey is third on the team with 14 catches for 160 yards. Az Hakim was recently signed by the Lions and made his first receptions of the season last week. TE Dan Campbell is averaging over 21 yards per catch with five receptions for 106 yards. RB Shawn Bryson is a threat in the passing game as he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Kitna last week.

    A trio of sixth-year players anchor the left and middle of the Detroit's offensive line. Jeff Backus has started every game at left tackle since being drafted by the Lions in the first round of the 2001 draft. Veteran G Ross Verba, in his 10th NFL season and first with the Lions, made his first start of the season last week. Dominic Raiola is in his fifth straight season as the Lions' starting center. He and Backus have combined to start 146 consecutive games.

    The right side of the Lions' O-line is manned by a pair of eighth-year players. Guard Damien Woody has been a starter his entire career. After starting his career in New England, Woody has started every game for the Lions since coming to Detroit in 2004. Rookie T Jonathan Scott made his first start at right tackle last week in place of another former Ram, versatile lineman Rex Tucker, who was out with a knee injury.

    Defensively, T Shaun Rogers mans the middle of the line. The two-time Pro Bowler has two sacks on the season and has blocked eight kicks (field goals and PATs), the most in the NFL since 1996. Shaun Cody, the Lions' second-round pick in 2005, starts inside next to Rogers.

    At end, seventh-year vet James Hall is one of four Lions with at least one sack on the season. He has posted 21 sacks in the past three seasons. Cory Redding is in his third season as a starter at end opposite Hall. Veteran Tyoka Jackson, an ex-Ram, can play both inside and out on the D-line and has posted one sack.

    At linebacker, WLB Ernie Sims leads the Lions in tackles with a team-best 33. Detroit's first-round pick in the 2006 Draft has posted consecutive 10+ tackle games in his first three starts, highlighted by a career-best 13 tackles last week. MLB Paris Lenon has 16 tackles on the early season was second on the team with eight stops in Week 2 vs.. Chicago. SLB Alex Lewis rounds out the starting trio.

    The strength of the Lions' defense may be in their secondary. Former Ram Dre' Bly is the leader in the Lions' defensive backfield. The two-time Pro Bowl CB and 2006 first alternate for the Pro Bowl has posted 16 interceptions in three seasons with Detroit. He leads the defense with five passes defensed and two forced fumbles. At the other spot, six-year vet and first-year Lion Jamar Fletcher started last week in place of Fernando Bryant, who did not play due to personal reasons.

    Safeties Terrance Holt and Daniel Bullocks round out Lions' defensive backfield. Holt, the younger brother of Rams' WR Torry Holt, is in his second season as a starter and is second on the team with 19 tackles and has one fumble recovery. Bullocks, the Lions' second-round pick in the 2006 draft, made his first career start against the Packers last week and had six tackles and one pass defensed.

    K Jason Hanson, the fourth-leading active scorer in NFL history, is in his franchise record-tying 15th season. The two time Pro Bowler has 16 game-winning field goals in his career. P Nick Harris averaged 43.5 yards per punt last season and set an NFL mark with the fewest touchbacks among punters with at least 30 punts downed inside the 20. Harris had just two touchbacks in 2005.

    Return man Eddie Drummond is a threat at wide receiver, punt returner, and kick returner. The 2005 Pro Bowler has averaged nearly 10 yards per punt return in his career and just under 25.0 yards per kick return, scoring six touchdowns (4 punt returns, 2 kickoff returns).

  2. #2
    bruce4life's Avatar
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    Re: A Look At The Opponent - Detroit

    this report is making the lions sound like a perennial playoff team instead of a perennial dog house team...

  3. #3
    SFCRamFan Guest

    Re: A Look At The Opponent - Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce4life View Post
    this report is making the lions sound like a perennial playoff team instead of a perennial dog house team...
    True...but this comes from the Ram's official site, and I am sure that they did not want to say anything negative to give the Lions any material to hang in the locker room for motivation...

  4. #4
    Brain Daddy Guest

    Re: A Look At The Opponent - Detroit

    It's hard to tell where teams are at this point in the season. The Rams offense is gradually coming together in the new offensive scheme week by week, but has a lot of work to do to get on the same page. Defensively, the Lions have been done a good job of stopping the run, so Jackson may not have one of his better days. The Lions are weak against the pass, though, with opposing QBs completing 75% of their passes. so you should look for some . Overall, the Lions have been near the bottom in total yardage and scoring, which should help the Rams offense look better than it has so far, but still not great.

    The Rams defense looks much improved. Detroit hasn't been very good at running the ball, but the Rams haven't done a consistent job of stopping it. The Lions offensive strength is their passing game, but the Rams have been decent vs. the pass. Overall, Detroit's offense has been near the bottom in total yardage and scoring. I think there are two key points: The Lions have given up 12 sacks already and they've coughed up the football five times (1 INT, 4 fumbles). St. Louis has been pretty good at taking the ball away and if they can bring the heat, the Rams defense should have a field day.

    Factor in homefield advantage, and this is a St. Louis win. I think you can toss the Lions into the "overhyped" bin with the Cardinals.

  5. #5
    talkstoangels61 Guest

    Re: A Look At The Opponent - Detroit

    Yes Detroit has stopped the run well so far Bulger will have a big day and Jackson will have a tough dayIMPO as Braindaddy said


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