Q. Anemic offense: How much concern should there be that the No. 1 offense has managed only two field goals on seven possessions in the first two games?
A. I’d worry until it gets better. Slow starts by the offense were a problem last season. The Lions scored only 20 points in the first quarter all year. Nothing has happened to show it will be any better this year.
There was nothing close to that against the Browns, and all the blame can’t be because Johnson did not play because of a bruised knee. The offense started off bad and stayed that way for the first half. The first three possessions gained 13 yards combined, without a first down.
The only decent drive for the No. 1 offense came on its last possession, and it took 13 plays to gain 47 yards and set up
Q. Bush: Did he do anything that was surprising?
A. Not really. He showed some toughness, taking numerous hard hits. There was no real running room as the Browns consistently cut off the running lanes. Bush gained 15 yards on eight carries and added 44 yards on four catches.
Q. What were Bush’s most impressive gains?
A. There were two plays that showed what kind of threat he can be. One was a catch on a flare pass to the left. He cut up the sideline for 18 yards before a Browns defender knocked him out of bounds. And on a fourth and one, he took a quick pitch from Stafford and raced around left end for six yards and a first down.
Those two plays showed what adding a playmaker means to the offense.
However, on some other plays – most of his runs – it showed that no one can make plays without holes to run through.
Q. Flag night: Should Coach Jim Schwartz be worried about penalties? There were five in the first half alone.
The three personal fouls – against Ndamukong Suh, Reggie Bush and
Suh had a late hit after Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden escaped the rush and threw the ball away. It was an act of frustration, but it shouldn’t happen.
Bush reacted after being hit from behind and no penalty was called on what clearly was a penalty against the Browns. Bush retaliated by chasing the Cleveland player and hitting him.
And late in the half, Young committed two fouls on a Lions punt – holding, and a personal foul. Young was pleading his case with Schwartz on the sideline, and it sure didn’t look like he was getting anywhere.
Q. Run defense: The front four had a good matchup, going against Browns running back Trent Richardson. Who won that battle?
A. I’d give it to Richardson – with an assist from teammate Dion Lewis. Richard gained 33 yards on six carries, with a long run of 17 yards. Lewis added 33 yards on five carries, and he got 31 of those yards on a run around his left end.
On the long run by Lewis, Young crashed down inside from right end, and there was no one outside to contain Lewis.
Q. Sticking with the defense, Weeden had a passer rating of 137.8, and his two TD passes went to Jordan Cameron. How much of a concern was that?
A. It’s more of a concern that Cameron’s catches were in the end zone with starters on the field. Cameron wasn’t really challenged on either catch. They were almost like training-camp plays.
Q. Strategy: Were the Lions too conservative going for a field goal on fourth and one at the Browns’ 15 in the last minute of the third quarter?
A. I could see it either way – going for the field goal, or giving Rugland a chance to kick another field goal. In a regular-season game, Schwartz probably would have gone for the first down.
Q. Kickalicous: He has made all three of his field-goal attempts. Where does he stand?
A. He keeps proving that he is more than a novelty and could have a future in the NFL. But David Akers also is three-for-three. He’ll be the kicker when the season starts, and he deserves to be.