Monday, September 14, 2009

How do the Lions look familiar? Let me count the ways

Did you get the feeling right from the start that the Lions picked up pretty much where they left off? That there was way too much familiar about the product they put on the field Sunday at New Orleans?

They were down, 14-0, before you knew it.

They rushed for 33 yards. They had no sacks and gave up 515 yards.

The defense was torched for more than 30 points for the 12th time in 17 games -- the fourth time over 40 -- something that doesn't happen that often in the regular NFL.

Matthew Stafford looked real rookie-like. And not Tate Forcier rookie-like.

Oh, well, a few outtakes from loss No. 1.

• It took the Saints five plays to score a TD after a 42-yard return of the opening kickoff. Maybe the Lions were eager to see what Stafford could do. The first three-and-out of his career, it turned out.

• Hey, that can happen to the best of them, like the Saints' Drew Brees on the next series. Of course his three-and-out ended with a 29-yard touchdown pass. It was his first of six TD passes, tying the records by a Saint (Billy Kilmer, 1969) and against the Lions (Colts' Peyton Manning, Thanksgiving 2004).

• Fox studio analyst Jimmy Johnson pointed out that Stafford had gone 1-for-8 on third-down passes in the first half, but offered: "It will get easier, Matthew Stafford." Not so much Sunday, but someday.

• Did the refs rob Stafford of his first career TD pass -- not to mention the fantasy ramifications -- when they ruled Calvin Johnson was out at the 3 as he cruised into the end zone in the third quarter? It sure looked bogus -- I might have gone all Serena Williams on them -- but at least the refs made up for it with a series of make-good calls until Stafford took it in himself with a 1-yard dive.

• Speaking of penalties, why is the false start still part of the Lions' red-zone package?

• Finally, on the bright side, 27 points is the most the Lions have scored since Game 8 in 2007, when they beat Denver, 44-7.

Talk the talk

The Lions also got a new Fox announcing team Sunday, Chris Myers and Trent Green, who made it through his rookie start without a concussion:


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