What are the five things you should keep your eyes glued to on Sunday?
You guys! Football is finally upon us. The Lions return to the field to play a fake game of football against the Colts on Sunday, and all I can do at this point is dance. Hit my music!
Okay, that was fun. Now let’s get serious. The Lions are playing a game on Sunday. At this point, all we have in this world are questions. Are the new jerseys going to stain easily? Will the cheerleaders lead to an automatic Super Bowl? Will the WiFi work at Ford Field? Someday we will get those answers.
But for now, let’s talk about the upcoming game. There are a lot of questions that pertain to this team, and on Sunday, we will finally get some answers—or at least the beginnings of an answer. These are the five things to watch for during Sunday’s game.
Can the Lions run the ball?
For the last 18 years, the answer to this question was no. Now the Lions appear to have finally started to invest in the running game. They went out and built up their offensive line this summer and got back a healthy Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick.
Now I want to see if we will get any sort of preview into what that running game may look like in 2017. So I’ll be looking to see how the Lions plan on using Ameer and what backs have the best chance of making the final roster?
Will Kenny Golladay continue to build hype?
It seems that everywhere you turn the last few weeks, someone is talking about Kenny Golladay. The third-round pick has caught the attention of Adam Schefter, Chris Simms and Pete Schrager, to name a few. It feels a lot like the hype that Ameer Abdullah had going into the preseason during his rookie year.
The Lions have him listed with the second-team offense their unofficial depth chart. It should be interesting to see how the Lions plan to use him and how corners will cover him. Let’s see if this is all hype, or if Golladay is the real deal.
I mentioned early this week that the Lions linebacking corps was essentially a hole in the field that Bane blew up while trying to take over Gotham in 2016. Now I don’t know what it is. The Lions focused a lot on depth this summer and didn’t even appear to look in Dont’a Hightower’s direction at all. They didn’t look at any big names, actually.
They instead signed Paul Worrilow and Nick Bellore. They then drafted Jarrad Davis in the first round. Davis looks exciting. I liked what i saw from him in camp. Antwione Williams also appears to have improved and will likely be competing for the “starting” strongside linebacker job.
How worried should we be about left tackle?
Now that Taylor Decker is hurt and we don’t know when his return will be, the Lions now have to rely on Greg Robinson, Storm Norton and/or Cyrus Kouandjio. I can tell you right now, the camp returns don’t look all that promising.
On Sunday, we will get to see these guys are still just trying to learn the system or if they just aren’t that good. Maybe they just don’t practice well? I don’t know. But I’m very eager to find out that answer on Sunday. The safety of Matthew Stafford sort of depends on it.
How bad are the backup quarterbacks?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen all the reports about how bad of a camp both Jake Rudock and Brad Kaaya have had. I can tell you first-hand that what I saw with my own two eyes didn’t exactly spark confidence.
Now if I know the Lions fan base as well as I think I do, some fans will want Rudock to start over Stafford after he completes one pass, but the very thought of the Lions having to start either of these guys scares the living daylights out of me.
Hopefully on Sunday we will see if these guys just had bad days in camp or if the Lions should be getting on the phone with some of the free agent quarterbacks that are available, like Colin Kaepernick for example.
We shall soon get some of the answers to these questions. Until then, let the excitement of the Lions playing a fake football game on Sunday continue. DJ, turn that jam back up!