O'Hara's Final Thoughts: Ford Field feels like a playoff atmosphere

Posted Oct 28, 2012

DETROIT – Final thoughts while waiting for kickoff of the Seahawks-Lions game and wondering if anyone will score points and runs in downtown Detroit Sunday:

Atmosphere: The pre-game mood at Ford Field feels like a playoff game. In a sense, it is because a loss would put the Lions at 2-5 and just about end any realistic thoughts of making a playoff run.

There is a big difference being 3-4 - especially with Jacksonville coming up next week.

Maybe having the Tigers on the brink of elimination for the World Series next door adds to the uncertain edge.

Arms race: Stafford may wing it from the beginning, like he did in the opening game against the Rams.

On the first drive, the Lions drove from their 20 to the Rams’ three-yard line, and most of it was on Stafford’s arm. Of the 12 plays, only three were pure tailback runs. The drive started with an end-round by Nate Burleson for a six-yard gain.

The drive ended on an interception by Rams rookie Janoris Jenkins. Until then, it was a good, sharp drive led by Stafford.

Receiver choice: With Burleson out for the season with a broken leg, rookie Ryan Broyles is getting more playing time. He responded in Burleson’s place last week with three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Calvin Johnson is the focus of the offense, but it will be interesting to see which of the other wideouts Stafford goes to more often, Broyles or Young. Young has shown some inconsistency in running routes and catching the ball. Broyles doesn’t have Young’s speed, but his hands are excellent.

Tight quarters: Not sure what it means, but the NFL tweeted out this morning that the Lions are one of four teams to be within a score of the lead in all four games. The others are the Rams, Redskins and Saints.

All four teams have losing records.

Tough going: The Lions should be used to tough games. Seattle is the sixth team they’ve played that is ranked in the top 12 in total defense. The others: 49ers (1), Bears (6), Rams (9), Eagles (11) and Vikings (12).

Seattle is ranked fifth. The Lions are eighth.
Moving up: The injury bug has moved up a level, from the secondary to the Lions’ linebackers. Ashlee Palmer will make his first start for the Lions since 2010 because of a hamstring injury that put DeAndre Levy on the inactive list.

All four original starting defensive backs have missed at least one game – cornerbacks Chris Houston and Bill Bentley and safeties Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey. Bentley (shoulder) and his replacement  Jacob Lacey (concussion), both were inactive Sunday, as was Spievey (concussion).

Jonte Green started at cornerback with Erik Coleman in Spievey’s spot opposite Delmas.