Q: How much concern is there about the rash of injuries the Lions sustained?
A: The team’s performance still has to be evaluated, but the obvious goal in training camp is to get the team’s best players ready for the start of the regular season.
Leshoure showed some good things in his first game as a Lion but didn’t finish the half.
Except for Smith, all the injuries came in the first half. At that point, the injury report for the start of the regular season became more important than anything that happened in Saturday night’s game, or what could happen in Thursday night’s final exhibition game against Buffalo at Ford Field.
Q: Battle plan – If he’s healthy, how much will Stafford play against Buffalo?
A: Less than he did in last year’s fourth exhibition game – and he was benched after four plays. He threw a 39-yard pass to
Stafford’s next game will be against the Rams on opening day.
Q: For the defense – how do you rate the No. 1 unit’s performance?
A: There are three ways to do it – yards and points allowed and turnovers.
Q: Second unit – should there be a concern for how the reserves played on defense?
A: Absolutely. They gave up big runs and big passes to Terrell Pryor, the Raiders’ No. 3 quarterback last year. The backups are supposed to provide depth for injury replacements and development. They didn’t play well, and that’s not good.
Q: Yards – was it good or bad?
A: Not good. The Raiders had 18 first downs and 247 yards in the first half. Ten of the first downs came on passes, and the Raiders had the ball for more than 18 minutes.
The defense has to do a better job of getting off the field. The Raiders misfired on some plays, and Sebastian Janokowski missed a field-goal attempt. That can’t be counted on to happen.
Q: Points allowed – good or bad?
A: Good. Giving up 10 points in a half against any team – especially with a veteran quarterback like Carson Palmer – has to be considered good.
Q: Turnovers – good or bad?
A: Very good on alert plays in the first half. Defensive end
There were some good plays and big hits on defense.
Q: Improvement – which unit made the most from last week?
A: Easy choice. Special teams. Coverage was outstanding.
Q: The offense – can it be rated without Stafford?
A: Yes, and it was wanting in some areas, with our without Stafford. The run game still needs work. Leshoure showed a few flashes, but he’s not close to top shape yet.
Q: Almost a stand – the defense held on three runs from the one before giving up the touchdown – barely – on Darren McFadden’s run on fourth down. Was that an impressive stand?
A: Yes, but any praise has to be tempered with the fact that the defense gave up 85 yards on seven plays and two penalties to let the Raiders drive from their 14-yard line to the one.
Once they dug in at the one, the defense stiffened.
The officials originally ruled that McFadden was down but reversed the call on a replay after the Raiders’ challenged the call.
Q: Red flag - Lions coach Jim Schwartz challenged a 13-yard catch by Rod Streeter on on the Raiders’ fifth play of the game. Schwartz claimed Streeter did not have control when he hit the ground and the ball came loose. Was it right to challenge that early in the game?
A: No problem, and not only because the cynical answer is that the replacement officials get so many things wrong that it’s worth taking a chance on almost every play. After the review, the play stood as a 13-yard gain.
Q: Going for it – On fourth and goal from the Raiders’ two late in the first half, Schwartz went for the touchdown instead of a field goal. The Raiders had a 7-6 lead. Right call?
A: I would have taken the points, especially with
There would be more of a reason to go for it with Stafford in the game, because he’s the run who’ll run the offense in the season.
Hill’s pass was behind Calvin Johnson and deflected off his hands as he lunged back to make the catch.
Q: Pryor knowledge – Terrell Pryor, the former Ohio State star, went in at quarterback for the Raiders in the third quarter. How did he look?
A: It was a lot like college. He’s a better runner than thrower, but he’s a heck of a runner. On one series he had a 59-yard run out of the pocket and finished the drive with a 17-yard run around right end for a touchdown.
On both plays, he went back to pass and ran out of trouble.
As a runner, he looked like he did in college. As a passer, he looked better – good enough to have a future at quarterback.