Posts Tagged ‘Joique Bell’

Six Hidden Match Ups Between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears

Saturday, December 20th, 2014
Photo from Getty Images

Photo from Getty Images

By Kent Lee Platte, @MathBomb
Let’s be honest.  The Detroit Lions would have to put on some kind of comically bad performance to lose to the 2014 Chicago Bears.  This Bears team is fielding the worst defense in the team’s history.  Their offense is lead by a QB who hasn’t played meaningful football in years.  It’s coached by a lame duck, offensive coordinator at best who can’t even coordinate an offense anymore. There isn’t much we can learn from this Bears team.  There is, however, plenty to learn from this Detroit Lions squad, and it’s those hidden match ups that I plan on delving into.

Joique Bell vs. Hot Hands

The Detroit Lions running back situation has been poor all season long.  I don’t need to explain the Reggie Bush disappointment, but Joique Bell receives tons of praise despite the Lions awful rushing attack.  Some of it is warranted.  Bell is a hard runner and decent receiver who can get yards after contact when he gets out in space.  As a featured back, however, he doesn’t cut it.  Mikel Leshoure was statistically superior in 2012 than Bell has been this season, to give you an indication.  The past few weeks, Bell has been performing much closer to fan expectations, enough so that it warrants mentioning.

Joique Bell has never ran for 100 yards in one game.  That’s kinda crazy when you think about it, as a guy who gets 15-20 carries a game.  Bell has had some very good games in his three years as a Lion, so that’s a very surprising statistic to me. His value in the receiving game is a likely culprit, but with Bell running hot right now and the Bears running as cold as the arctic in winter, it’s time for the Lions power back to run through a statistical wall.

Corey Fuller vs. Hey, remember that guy?

Once upon a time, in the long recesses of history (Week 8), Corey Fuller was being worked into the team with increasing intensity.  His flaws were still present, but the team was using Fuller in a variety of roles to increase his work load and experience.  It seemed to be working, too, as Fuller was making some impressive catches, including his game winner against New Orleans.

And yet here we are, in Week 16, and Fuller has averaged less than one target a game since Week 8, where he was targeted 6 times and caught 3.  You’d be forgiven for not noticing Fuller’s absence, what with Jeremy Ross lighting the league on fire, averaging one whole catch a game over the past 6 weeks (With none in the past two weeks).  The Lions haven’t had an able 3rd receiver in forever.  While I’m sure that Ross is not that guy, I’m not sold that Fuller doesn’t have more to offer just yet.

Cornelius Lucas vs. Willie Young

Lucas has been seeing an inordinate amount of time as a starter.  Unlike LaAdrian Waddle, who came in after injuries ahead of him in 2013 and then cemented himself as the starter, Lucas has filled in at both tackle spots while the players ahead of him dealt with temporary injuries.  With LaAdrian Waddle’s fifth injury of the season finally ending his time on the field, Lucas lands at right tackle.  This pits him against former Detroit Lion Willie Young.

After 7 sacks in the first 6 weeks of play, Young has managed only 3 sacks in the past 10 weeks, landing him in double digits for the season.  He’s a better pass rusher at this point in his career than his line mate Jared Allen, who Lucas bested the last time these two teams squared off.  The undrafted rookie has been learning how to use his superior length to get the best of pass rushers and it’s been pretty slow going. He has improved in each contest, however, and while I wouldn’t have said so the last time these two teams played each other I think he gets the best of Willie Young.

Kyle Long vs. Ndamukong Suh

Few offensive players can claim to have gotten the best of Ndamukong Suh.  Despite the Lions handily defeating the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving and putting constant pressure on Jay Cutler, Kyle Long actually won the battle with Suh for the most part.  Suh was held without even a single tackle for the only time this season against Long.  The second year guard has been battling injury and is questionable to play against the Lions.

Suh, on the other hand, has been having his best year as a pro. Where during the offseason we couldn’t get people to shut up about how the Lions should trade their All Pro defensive tackle, it’s now all about what they’ll have to do to keep him.  One of the only irreplaceable parts on this top rated defense, Suh will need to show that he can follow up a bad performance when he has them.  He had a poor day against Long the first time around, can he dominate him the second go?

Glover Quin vs. History

It seems like every week there is a Detroit Lions player that has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done in Detroit for decades.  Quin presently leads the NFL in interceptions with 6.  If he stays atop that list, he’ll be the first Lions player to lead the league in interceptions since Kurt Schultz in 2000.  Quin also finished in the top ten for Pro Bowl voting, which may be an even bigger historic achievement.

The Detroit Lions used to be a hotbed of pro bowl defensive backs.  Dick LeBeau, Dick Lane, Jack Christiansen, Yale Lary, and others kept the Lions with a constant stream of elite DBs.  If Quin makes the Pro Bowl in 2014, which he truly deserves, he’ll be only the second DB in the past 25 years to make a Pro Bowl (The other is Dre’Bly).  While the Pro Bowl is mostly a popularity contest, when was the last time the Lions had a defensive back that truly DESERVED to have his name in household conversation?

Jim Caldwell vs. Cruising

Jim Caldwell has done a very good job of not looking past his opponents this season.  This was a concern of mine last week, but that was against a Vikings team that is well coached and on the rise.  The Bears are in…a different situation.  The Detroit Lions were bad for a long time.  There was a lot of losing in their history and fans had to suffer through a lot. The Bears, on the other hand, have a long history of winning.  So watching them implode and go down in flames is particularly entertaining for Lions fans.

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Lions vs. Ravens: Six Hidden Matchups

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Will Jonte Green keep his head in his first extended action of 2013? And thank goodness that SIlva guy is gone!

Kent Lee Platte, DLD Writer

I set up several under the radar matchups last week against the Eagles and while I missed the biggest one (Everyone vs. the Weather), I totally nailed Gunther Cunningham’s adjustments, the Secondary embarrassing themselves, and Matthew Stafford’s mistakes.  Hooray for me!

Unfortunately, those are things I had rather hoped the team would come out on the winning side on, and instead we ended up witnessing a team not only fail at pretty much everything for 30 minutes straight, but do so in pretty epic fashion.  With a Bears and Packers victory, the path to the Playoffs for the Lions isn’t as clear and they come into Monday Night Football without any kind of cushion and three must wins ahead of them.  (more…)


Lions Cook the Packers

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Jeff Risdon, DLD Editor

Never in my tryptophan-induced dreams did I envision the complete devastation of the Packers on Thanksgiving. Detroit walloped the NFC North rivals 40-10 to take control of the division.

Here are my leftovers from a second helping that I watched on Black Friday morning instead of shopping. You can check out my initial takeaways over at Bleacher Report here. (more…)


Lions vs. Packers Part II–Six Hidden Matchups

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Kent Lee Platte, DLD Writer

The Lions face a bigger test this week than they’ve had all season.  Coming off two losses that should have been wins, they face a divisional foe on prime time TV in front of a national audience.  They do that against a team they’ve normally lost against on a day they have normally lost.  Despite that, they come into the game pretty heavy favorites to win, largely due to Aaron Rodgers’ continued absence.  Also absent, anything resembling a defense for Green Bay.  The Lions refuse to be outdone, however, and have countered with no pass defense of their own!  Green Bay will likely have to rely on their passing game, which works in their favor considering how bad the Lions have been defending it, since the Lions run defense has allowed a league low 2.4 YPC since week 4.  There are many more match ups on your Turkey Day game that aren’t as glaring, and that’s what we’re here for! (more…)


Six Hidden Matchups Vs. the Redskins

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

 

Kent Lee Platte, DLD Writer

The Lions are hoping to end one of the worst streaks in football, travelling to Washington where they have never come away with a win.  Although the Lions were unable to come out of Arizona with a win, sitting at 1-1 puts them on par with roughly half of the league.  The season is still very much in play (It’s week 4, have hope!), and leaving Washington with a win would mark the second 2012 playoff team the Lions would have won against in 2013.  Reggie Bush and Nick Fairley’s availability are both in question and the Lions will be without speedy receiver Patrick Edwards (Ankle) and starting RT Jason Fox (Whatever injury it is this week).

Still, there’s plenty to be excited about given the Redskins verging-on-historically-terrible defense they’ve fielded so far this season.  Rather than go with the obvious, I’m once again delving into the hidden matchups to look for in the Lions Week 3 matchup with the Washington Redskins. (more…)


Five Thoughts From Detroit vs. Arizona

Monday, September 16th, 2013

 

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is reflected in the face mask of Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu during the second half of a NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Jeff Risdon, DLD Editor

Nothing like a tough loss to deflate all the positive vibes from a strong preseason and impressive opening win. The Lions hit the road and the road hit back, as Arizona overcame a lengthy Lions lead and beat Detroit 25-21 on Sunday. (more…)






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