After Matt Stafford had a difficult off season the Lions QB/Saviour/Poster Boy took the field for the first time against another defense other than his own. Stafford was not the only Lion to look impressive in Saturday's 27-26 Pre-Season victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Let us start with the negative. The game does not count. We won all four contests last year and did not do us much good. But, we can take something positive from this game. Stafford played great, Williams played well, Aaron Brown played out of this world good for a 6th rounder. Drew Stanton played better than I anticipated. Daunte Culpepper showed he is in much better shape and had increased mobility and elusiveness that dropping 30+ pounds can do for a player. Maybe he went on Nutrisystem with Lendale "Formerly LenWhale" White. The O-Line played decent with playing so many people. The D-Line will give the Lions fits all season. Hill made some nice plays showing he has promise, but most of the time we could not sustain pressure. Chuck Darby played better than I think most Lions blogs gave him credit for. He was solid and plugged up the middle. We can not expect a lot more from the veteran. Our D-Line needs a lot of work and I am sure we will be scouring the waiver wire. All the Lions rookies played well, even UFA RB Allen Ervin made some solid runs. I hope he can knock Aveion Cason from the roster. Cason is older and nothing special. The Lions sign him and release him every season. Ervin could be a solid backup and Brown can help return kicks. The defense played decently enough but did not see much of the Falcon's top players. Detroit had a big problem with penalties but early pre-season games can show that.
I can not say how happy I am to see Matthew Stafford play so well. He threw absolute bullets, was accurate and had great pocket presence. He stood in a took his lumps and delivered throws on the run. Yes he had his rookie mistake in throwing the interception returned for a touchdown but came back and responded with a beautiful touchdown throw to Rookie Derrick Williams. To show that much mental and physical toughness puts me at ease. Maybe he was worth the first overall pick. Stafford will even start the next preseason game at Cleveland on Saturday 7:30 EST. Here is to defending our Pre-Season Champs title! Forward down the field!!