Lions/Jets Notes

August 10th, 2013

The Lions won their preseason opener over the Jets (graphic from CBS NY)


Jeff Risdon
I’ve only watched the game once so far, so I’ll give more thoughts next week in preparation for the next game.

Lions:
-Reggie Bush’s first run, a leaping off tackle burst that picked up 11 yards, is precisely the sort of run that nobody else on this roster has been able to make since #20 left the building. Alas his 2nd carry was quickly snuffed out in the backfield. Still, Bush is a better version of the weapon we all hoped Jahvid Best could become. Thumbs up for the pass protection too.

-The primary reason why the Lions were so enamored with Ziggy Ansah was the big play potential he brought to the defensive line. Ansah paid dividends right way with the athletic pick six on a truly awful pass from Mark Sanchez on the Jets’ first drive. Also notable on that play is how quickly new DT CJ Mosley diagnosed the screen and flattened the back trying to chip and head out. On the next drive Ziggy showed the quickness and strength, shedding a block from D’Brickashaw Ferguson and crashing inside for a forceful tackle at the line vs. the run.

-DeAndre Levy impressed me with his coverage. It wasn’t always tight, but it was safe and effective; Levy consistently made proper reads in the zone and maintained the right leverage to either his help or the sideline. That prevents big plays.

-The coverage gaffes on the Jets first scoring drive were ugly. From Bill Bentley slipping twice to Travis Lewis not understanding the coverage scheme, the back seven made too many stupid mistakes. I loathe using the word “stupid” for an initial preseason game, but there’s no better way to describe it without repeating the profanities I subjected my wife to as we watched it.

-Stafford was 3-for-8 including missing his last three when the field was shorter, turning a potential touchdown drive into a medium range field goal. Unfortunately that has an all too familiar ring to it. I only saw one instance where his arm angle was strange, and that was a rifled quick throw to Calvin down the sideline that showed off Stafford’s incredible arm strength. That particular throw reminded me a lot of how Dan Marino used to fire the ball out in a split second after seeing something and getting it there beyond reasonable expectation of time.

-Sam Martin, welcome to Detroit! If you keep punting the way you did tonight, you could be here as long as Jason Hanson was. The first punt was exactly what I asked for in my “what I’m watching” preview piece. Every kickoff was at least 6 yards deep too.

-Matt Willis stated his case to make the roster as well as he could have possibly dreamed. Getting the knee and elbow down before sliding out of bounds on the sideline throw was a very impressive feat. The touchdown catch on a perfect throw from Shaun Hill was all hands and once again demonstrated excellent body control and sideline awareness. I still think he’s a long shot, but his shot is shorter after that display.

-Joique Bell impressed in the two minute drill just before the end of the first half. Bell made a couple of decisive runs, getting north/south right away and mindfully scooting out of bounds. As with Bush, Bell also enthusiastically rocked defenders in pass protect mode.

-Willie Young showed a good motor and better field awareness than a year ago. He completely dominated Jets rookie tackle Oday Aboushi, who looked undraftable coming out of Virginia and did little in this game to dispel that notion. Funny how threatened job security can produce better results for Young…

-This performance has absolutely convinced me that Kellen Moore is simply not a NFL talent. The arm strength just isn’t good enough even after an offseason focused on improving it. The Lions need to go with Thaddeus Lewis if they keep three QBs, though I would strongly advocate going with just two. Shaun Hill looked better than both the Jets combatants for the starting job.

–Kickalicious passed his first live action, nailing two field goals and booming a couple of kickoffs. David Akers also looked very good. This will not be an easy decision for Schwartz & Co.

-The running lanes were impressive with Dylan Gandy at center, Larry Warford at right guard, and Jason Fox at right tackle in the second quarter. There was a 3rd down play where Warford really ranged outside well to engage in space, something he’s really struggled with in practices.

For the Jets:
-This is not a team that can afford to beat itself with penalties, yet even the first units committed a host of them. I was continually amazed at the lack of technical acumen by both lines, with lots of narrow sets, blatant holds, undisciplined snap jumping, and high hands. Some coaches are teachers, some are motivators, some are tacticians. Rex Ryan is most certainly not a teacher, but it appears they really need that sort of coach.

-Stephen Peterman proved why the Lions were so happy to get rid of him, yet he was better than exiled Steeler Willie Colon. New York is in desperate need of guard help.

-I’ve written off Kellen Winslow before, and once again I was premature. He looked very good considering the state of his knees. I also like the attitude and spirit he brought to the team; he’s the only Jet offensive player that plays with outward confidence.

-I thought Marty Morhinwheg has done a nice job tailoring the passing game to what his quarterbacks do well, which is check down and hit fairly static targets on shorter routes. That’s an awful tough way to try and produce points throughout a season, but it does present them with chances to break tackles or exploit blown coverages.

-Bilal Powell is their version of Joique Bell: not the biggest, not the quickest, not the flashiest, but a decisive downhill runner who also has soft hands and obvious confidence as a receiver.

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4 Responses to “Lions/Jets Notes”

  1. The Strategy Expert says:

    Yeah 3 QBs that outperformed Stafford, none of them were even draft picks go figure. Also wasn’t I supposed to get to go to a preseason game this year after you lost the Nick Fairley bet on RealGM? And wow they sure don’t have much of a discussion going on over there on Lions topics, pretty sad to see.

    • adminLions says:

      Ha! I’m not on RealGM much anymore other than still writing general NFL work & season previews for them. I can’t do any preseason games this year (child care), hit me next year and I’ll happily pay up.

      • The Strategy Expert says:

        Sweet, sounds good. Fairley has already made a couple of nice plays here in the 1st Quarter against the Jets. Nice hustle on the sideline pass chasedown out of bounds. I told you he would be a great draft pick! That man only knows one way to play, and that way is to BRING IT!





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