As we conclude this riveting expose of the Lions preseason endeavors, what have we learned? The last preseason game against Cleveland revealed many things. First of all is that the Browns D is in big trouble! They couldn’t make a play against a team that prides (forgive the pun) itself on the 3 and out. With that in mind, I’ll try not to get too carried away with what I saw in that game. First the good:
Joey Harrington looked as good as I have seen him. He actually looked…confident. His passes, after his first, were crisp and accurate. He showed the quick release good decision making ability that warrant him being a backup fantasy QB this year. He also seemed comfortable in the pocket, showing a pocket sense that I’ve not seen often from Joey. Again this was against the Browns; so don’t read too much into it.
That said there was one thing that emerged that wasn’t a result of the D as it was the result of blending talents. He and Charles Rogers looked like they were in sync on a lot of their routes. If Harrington can build a trust with Rogers, his stock should rise.
About Mr. Rogers. He never seemed to show his breakaway speed, but he was open enough to catch 4 passes for 52 yards and no drops. He seems to have a knack for catching the ball without having to break stride and most likely will break a few long receptions this year. He looks like the real deal. Bill Schroeder also benefited, grabbing 4 passes for 74 yards. Rogers should open up the field for the Lions receivers when things are clicking. This will help Az Hakim, who is slated to start week one. Look for TE Ricks to show improvement once the Wrs establish themselves. There may not be a more undervalued pair than Schroeder and Hakim, if the system works.
Another benefit of the passing game clicking, and a staple of a Mariucci offense, is that it opens up the rushing game. I wonder if this is why the backup backs, notably Colbourne and Denson were so effective. They rushed 15 times for 126 yards, of course Denson’s 77 yards came in 7 carries against the Brown scrubs so… The point being that the rushing attack should be improved this year. J. Stew will see the bulk of the action, and with good health, his numbers should reflect that. A word of warning, though, Stew didn’t look all that good against the Browns. Never a fast back, I didn’t see and quickness from him. I would still bet that he’ll rock this year.
On the defensive side, an already weak defensive bunch took a huge hit when starting CB Chris Cash tore his ACL and was lost for the season. Dre Bly will not play any preseason games but is expected to start week one. If you are playing match-up, betting that the Lions will make offensive stars of the week is always a sound strategy and is even more so for a passing game. Look for Blake and Bryant Johnson to be sleeper stars for week 1.
Since preseason game 4 is worthless, there will be no further entries into this gripping log of the Lions exploits. I now turn my attention to fine-tuning my fantasy team, no doubt, right into the cellar! Good Luck everyone, the next stage in our fantasy football adventure is only one week away!
I think, therefore I am. I think fantasy, therefore I am unreal?