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Lions Defense Has No Teeth

We've documented this week some of the myriad problems swirling around Detroit's offense. But its defense has been worse. Seriously.

Detroit has been unable to generate any kind of push with a four-man rush, which in the Lions' Tampa-2 system can be crushing. So now the linebackers, who are so vital to pass coverage in that scheme, have to get involved in the pass rush, which causes big problems downfield, particularly when those linebackers rarely actually reach the quarterback (the LBs have combined for two sacks).

So now you are giving opposing quarterbacks all day to pick apart your secondary and receivers too much time to find the soft spots in that two-deep zone. Which explains why guys like Matt Schaub and J.T. O'Sullivan and Kyle Orton and rookie Matt Ryan (in his first NFL start) have had such sterling results against them. Add in Gus "Headbutts = Bad Idea" Frerotte, and Aaron Rodgers, and that's the list of QBs the Lions have faced this season. It's about as benign a bunch as you could hope for. They aren't exactly Manning (LBM, not his big brother), McNabb, Romo, Brees, Bulger, to name some of the guys the Skins have faced.

Still, the collection of passers who have faced the Lions this season have put up staggering statistics, production eons beyond what they have done against the rest of the NFL.

Opposing quarterbacks have an unfathomable 115.8 passer rating against Detroit with 11 touchdowns and only one interception, completing 68 percent of their passes. By comparison, Philip Rivers, the NFL's top-rated passer, has a 108.5 rating, with 16 TDs and five INTs.

While the passers who've faced the Lions have an 11-1 TD-INT ratio against Detroit, their margin is 36-34 against the rest of the NFL. Four of those six passers have a passer rating below 84 on the season.

If Jason Campbell isn't licking his chops by now, he might as well start.

I spoke to a personnel guy who has seen a lot of the Lions, and he agrees that they are pretty bad in most areas of play. Yet this dude has a hunch -- for no other particular reason than that the Lions need to win and are at home and the Skins may be sky-high -- that, well, he think there could be an upset. And Peter King believes this is a big-time trap game for the Skins. I'm not buying it, but I'm wrong all the time. That's why they play the games, right?

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 24, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
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Next: 'The Jasons' Preview Skins-Lions


honestly jasno has provided the lions with enough bulletin board material to last them a whole season. but still jasno, try as you might to derail the won't work!!! you betcha! ;)

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

we are still going to kick their a$%!!!

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

personnel guy

I wonder how many of these guys you call until you come across one that agree with what you want to write. It wouldn't shock me if Peter King was the guy you called.


Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 24, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

from last year's game :

also I'm sure someone on their defensive side has at least one tooth

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 24, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse


You weren't buying it against the Rams either.

Redskins 112
Lions negative 3

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 24, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

i know the stats don't lie, but...this is exactly the kind of vibe we had going on pre the Rams. Me, I'll take any kind of W that avoids injuries. (Of course I'd prefer a good old-fashioned butt-whipping and one of Thomas or Davis waking up...)

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | October 24, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

You cant be scared about this game it will take many many monumanetal laspes and errors to possibly find a way to make this game close. barring a congenital heart defect felding the team moments before they step on the field we should be fine.

Also i love SEC defenses, they are possibly the easiest conference to run the ball on in NCAA just my opinion.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 24, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Losing 2 out of the 3 would be crushing to our hopes of an NFC East title any home playoff games.

This is one of those games where JC needs to win the game for us instead of trying not to lose it. Choke the hope out of them early and watch them roll over and quit.

Posted by: Gweez | October 24, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

etrod, did you get 112 from 16 TD's or were there some combinations of safeties and FG's?

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

What i want this weekend:

1 - Play action and hit Moss for a long TD pass on the 1st play from scrimmage.

2 - Defense doing there thing but don't just "give up" points at the end of the 1st half by playing the prevent.

3 - Get sellars the ball more.

4 - a comfortable win

Posted by: NFeKPo | October 24, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

two questions for jasno:

how is jason taylor's knee?

who on the skins has a dog named blue?

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

No turnovers and finish drives

Skins will be fine

Posted by: WVskinzfan | October 24, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I'd be much more worried about this game if the skins hadn't lost to the Rams. Their "trap" game is behind them.

Posted by: PASkinsFan1 | October 24, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Cory Redding, for the lions is a player to watch out for, fast DT, who could give us fits, Sims the lb. They've got some guys who can play on defense.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 24, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

answer to #2 is anthony montgomery...

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

JM, you really are the new Baro re: Janso. Do you even read the text....he was disagreeing with the sources....

I got mad luv for you JM, but your entering into ridiculousness with your Janso beef. At least come correct with the info.

Posted by: chrislarry | October 24, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

phillip rivers has a very strange, odd looking delivery motion.

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Santonio Holmes pinched for possession of mary-jane....3rd arrest in the last 2 years, wonder if he'll be available for the game on Monday versus the Redskins.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 24, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Who is this dude on the radio? IT can't be the Philly guy, can it? Great voice for radio.........

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 24, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

cl, it's friday brother...why couldn't you bring that up on monday?

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

JM, you really are the new Baro re: Janso

Because it is coming from you CL I will take that. LOL


Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 24, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

they should definitely legalize! definitely!!! it's not a bad drug. he probly has glaucoma...

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

If we lose... I'm blaming Jasno

Posted by: johnvandermyde | October 24, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

john, jasno is doing EVERYTHING to help the lions get up for this game just like the media is doing everything to help mccain by declaring obama as prez is a done deal...

god forbid if they loose...jasno will be banned from the skins beat...

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Anyone see Peter King's picks for this week. He has the Skins losing another 'trap' game against the Lions. He thinks they'll come in taking the Lions lightly. I hope some of the players read this.

Posted by: redpitbull98 | October 24, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has been fined $10,000 for his celebration after a 66-yard touchdown run against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The NFL said Thursday Johnson was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct for banging on some drums in the Chiefs' pep band during Sunday's 34-10 victory. He was penalized 15 yards at the time.

"I am not happy about it," Johnson told The Tennessean newspaper. "I knew I was going to get a fine, but I am totally upset about how much. I am going to appeal. There's no fun in this league. I was trying to have fun and they want to penalize us for having fun."

that is just completely pitiful in everyway

someone should tell the rook that's why they call it the No Fun League

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 24, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I definitely believe this has all the markings of a trap game. Although, it does seem like the Skins are taking things a bit more serious this week than against the Rams.

That being said, without RW I don't think the Lions have much of a chance on offense...

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 24, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The excessive fines during the Goodell years has gotten out of hand. I can accept a penalty and a small fine ($2500) but $10k for that? I guess the Ocho Cinco's and the TO's have ruined it for everyone else. I think it takes some of the fun out for the fans too. A Lambeau Leap is ok but banging on the band's drum is way out of line...I just don't get it.

Posted by: redpitbull98 | October 24, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Who is this dude on the radio? IT can't be the Philly guy, can it? Great voice for radio.........

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 24, 2008 10:32 AM

Just caught part of it on the way in to work,'s Bernard Shaw, retired CNN anchor. He lives around here...huge 'Skins fan...always at the games. Man, give me his voice, and I'm making a lot more $$$ than I do now.

Posted by: 4-12 | October 24, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Seems like Calvin Johnson is picking up the slack left by Roy. But he's about their only threat. I'm sure 22 can lock him down and he'll have safety help over the top. If the Skins continue to shut down the run, the Lions will be forced to air it out and that's when they'll get in trouble. My main concern is the Skins offense getting on track, especially in the 1st qtr. Balanced ball control offense eating clock and leading to scores (preferably TDs). If they do that, I don't see how they can lose. Sure, it could be close but barring crazy stuff like on-sides kicks, going for it on 4th, blocking punts, etc., I don't see the Lions winning. Oh, and the Skins have to protect the ball better than the Rams game.

Posted by: redpitbull98 | October 24, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Bernie also narrated a recent Redskins History program as well.

Posted by: redpitbull98 | October 24, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Josh Zembik of SI has our game listed as the least watchable of the 14 games this weekend. Said it should be a blowout.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 24, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Fri/mon....whateves...they all rile me up!

Posted by: chrislarry | October 24, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Who says? How about Phil Simms and Bill Cowher. They said it last night on Showtime's Inside the NFL. First Simms: "When I watch the Cowboys its like a boxing match. They want to go out there and win a decision by dancing around. Sooner or later you got to punch somebody in the mouth. They don't punch anybody in the mouth. The first thing I notice about all their games is they are never the aggressor physically and you can't win in the NFL unless you are." Now Cowher: You have to cater your defense to what you have personnel-wise. They have coverage issues. In my mind what they have to do is get some way to create pressure. I know Ware is a good rusher. But at the same time they got to get there quicker. They've got to be more disruptive with their front. I look at this team right now and they are trying to play the same way they did when they had everybody healthy. They don't have everybody healthy. Right now you've got to cater that defense to what you have and they aren't doing that.""

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 24, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

i love wapo's animated political cartoons!!! wow! really really awesome concept! i discovered them only a week ago.

what i'm talking about

and a warning that it should come as no surprise to what wapo makes fun of...

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I want a saftey or a defensive sore of some kind. We are shut down on third diown and goal line stances hit as hard as anyone and swarm the ball with the best of them but we dont put up points like some of the other elite defenses do . I think Kedric and Andre reak engouh havic to get a saftey if put in the right spot. Wouldnt be suprised if taylor gets back into this game to, hes going up ananst a rookie that they had to bench due to performance.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 24, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Beepity beep beep

Posted by: RambleOn | October 24, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know Detroits starting line-up?

Posted by: TonyButterFingersHomo1 | October 24, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The Sourcerer strikes again! You talked to what guy? The only one on record picking Detroit is that has been Peter King, who has as ax to grind with the Redskins for some reason. Remember Art Monk to the HOF?

Posted by: punchdaclock | October 24, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, no trap game this week. The Rams loss was a's not like the Rams went to Washington and outplayed them in every aspect of the game. The Rams Offense was horrible that day.

The Rams D was a bit better, but the skins did what they wanted to do. The Rams didn't score a offense touchdown against the Skins. The former punter shanked a punt which put the Rams in field goal range. 3 plays later, and the field goal attempt for the Rams was good. If Kendall doesn't catch the tipped pass by Campbell and smacks it down, the Skins would have most likely made the field goal (they were at the 16 yard line) and the Rams would have lost the game....!!!

Please don't thinking this is a trap game...if anything, the loss to the Rams will assure the Skins won't have turnovers, plus the Skins players know that they will be the laughing stock of the NFL if Detroits only win will come against them. The Lions should and most likely will go 0-16.

Skins will win pulling away this week and will slide up to #3 or 4 in the power rankings because The Giants will lose to the Steelers, and Indy will beat the Titans.

Posted by: austingh3aolcom | October 24, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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