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 Next up: Cincinnati Bengals 
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Post Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
Please use this thread to discuss this weekend's game and all things related...

Will our beloved Lions make it 2 in a row this week?
Can Houston shut down AJ Green?

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October 15th, 2013, 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
ESPN wrote:
CB Darius Slay shows improvement in relief
October, 15, 2013
By Michael Rothstein | ESPN.com

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Rookie Darius Slay was benched after the second game of the season, relegated to special teams duty only as veteran Rashean Mathis took his spot in the starting lineup.

Each week, though, Slay said he prepared like he was going to return to the lineup.

It has happened twice since Mathis took over for him -- against Chicago when Mathis had a head injury and then again Sunday, when Mathis injured his groin and couldn’t return to the game.

Enter the rookie Slay, who has shown improvement in each of his fill-in appearances, including four defensive tackles and a special teams tackle Sunday.

“Rashean has done a nice job coming in and setting a good example for Slay,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said Monday. “I think Slay’s been improving over the last month. I think being able to sit back and watch a veteran player like Mathis has really been beneficial to him and I think you saw that when he went on the field.

“Physically, he’s done some good things but I think mentally and just game-awareness he continues to improve.”

That was a big issue for Slay early on, as opponents appeared to pick on him. And while he picked up a pass interference penalty Sunday against Cleveland while defending a pass to Greg Little, Schwartz was even fine with that.

“I thought he did a really nice job on that play,” Schwartz said. “Got a hand in. It got called, but I thought he made a nice play on the ball there.”

It is all part of the maturation process for Slay, who said last month he was going to try and learn everything he could from Mathis. Mathis, in turn, planned on tutoring the rookie because he saw he has a big future.

“They see that I am an approachable guy,” Mathis said last month. “I pull them aside before they can pull me aside and that lets them know I really do care about their future.

“As veteran guys, that’s what we have to do.”

http://espn.go.com/blog/detroit-lions/p ... -in-relief
ESPN wrote:
Mathis trying to return Sunday vs. Bengals
October, 15, 2013
By Michael Rothstein | ESPN.com

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis, who left Sunday’s win against Cleveland with an injured groin, said Tuesday he will be doing “everything I can do” to return Sunday against Cincinnati.

The Lions could definitely use Mathis, as they face elite wide receiver A.J. Green. Cornerback Chris Houston, who had a hamstring injury earlier this season, will likely draw the assignment of Green, but Mathis could be matched up on him as well.

“I feel good. Moving fine,” Mathis said. “Just doing everything I can do to be ready, to try and be 100 percent or close to 100 percent come game day.

“So treatment, treatment, treatment. Rehab, rehab, rehab. And we’ll see.”

If Mathis does not play Sunday, he’ll be replaced by rookie Darius Slay, who filled in for him Sunday against Cleveland and earlier this year against Chicago. Slay initially won the cornerback job out of training camp, but was replaced by Mathis before Week 3.

http://espn.go.com/blog/detroit-lions/p ... vs-bengals

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October 15th, 2013, 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
I'll be there! This time, I wont be forced to wear a bright pink "I love Matt Millen" tight v-neck shirt.

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October 15th, 2013, 3:41 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
kdsberman wrote:
I'll be there! This time, I wont be forced to wear a bright pink "I love Matt Millen" tight v-neck shirt.


That had to hurt. LOL


October 15th, 2013, 3:59 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
Funny, these teams mirror each other in a few ways. Both 4-2 big cats from the North in tough divisions in which 3 teams could make the playoffs. Both with stud WRs and young QBs on offense built around solid lines on defense.

Lions must protect home field this week!

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October 15th, 2013, 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
IMO this will be game of the week. Can't wait.

On defense, we need to not only do the obvious; stop AJ Green, but they have an up-and-coming rookie RB, Gio Bernard. He's quick and shifty and I think he gets us at least once on our weekly big run play given up. On offense, we need to pray Calvin is better than he was this week, keep Staff on his feet and not drop any passes. It'll be a tough task to beat this team, but I think we're up for it.

20-16 final.

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October 15th, 2013, 4:28 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
BillySims wrote:
kdsberman wrote:
I'll be there! This time, I wont be forced to wear a bright pink "I love Matt Millen" tight v-neck shirt.


That had to hurt. LOL


It did!

It was my bachelor party down in Detroit and they surprised me with tickets but the rule was I had to wear this shirt. It was the the fruitiest shirt you could imagine. And to make matters worse, that was the game against the Colts that they blew.

Go Lions!

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October 15th, 2013, 7:53 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
I'm calling for a 23-21 Lions win with a David Akers kick winning it at the end. Home field will be big in this game.

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October 17th, 2013, 12:48 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
PFT wrote:
Lions expect more from Calvin Johnson this week
Posted by Josh Alper on October 18, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

The Lions got wide receiver Calvin Johnson back in the lineup last week, but it wasn’t exactly the Johnson we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the years.

Johnson played only 38 offensive snaps against the Browns and didn’t run too many downfield routes as he served largely as a decoy because his knee wouldn’t allow him to do more. Johnson won’t be back to full strength for this weekend’s matchup against the Bengals, but he has been practicing this week and Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan thinks Johnson will be able to play a bigger role this time out.

“I would think so,” Linehan said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s not an overnight thing to get back to 100 percent, but he’s working very hard to get there, so I don’t see why there’s any reason he wouldn’t be able to have a few more [plays] this week. But it has everything to do with how the game goes.”

The Lions offense was able to come up with enough points in the second half to knock off the Browns, but there’s no question that they’re a less dynamic team without Johnson going at full speed. They’ll have to settle for something closer against a strong Bengals defense and hope that the rest of the offense helps make up the difference again this weekend.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... this-week/

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October 18th, 2013, 9:54 am
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
Cincy offense: They are a passing team but they have been showing some balance by pounding with Green-Ellis and then a more dynamic threat with Bernard who can also run some routes. Bernard isnt a true big play RB like Reggie Bush. Levy, I know had the INTs last week but he got abused by Chris Ogbonnaya at times both as a lead blocker and as a receiver out of the backfield. I dont think Levy can assume that big plays will overcome his lack of focus to fundamental LB play. If Levy plays like he did a week ago and doesnt have a chance to grab some wounded ducks Bernard will be a big factor. The Bengals also feature two decent TEs that can hurt you in the passing game with Gresham and Eifert who they are featuring more. I dont either is a legitimate deep threat but they are options that can hurt you if the Lions dont respect them. Sanu is a respectable WR2 but not an elite one. The Lions will most likely handle him with Chris Houston and that match up favors Houston. Marvin Jones as a No 3 is a big play threat and look for them to get him the ball on at least one reverse particularly if Israel Idonije is in the game at DE. WIllie Young has learned his lesson and has done a better job of staying home but Idonije is playing poorly all around and if Jay Gruden sees what I see he ll go after him. Levy does a decent job playing the reverse and is a good open field tackler but he might be SOL if the end cant at least slow the play down. The screen game to the WRs Jones and Sanu is tough also bc they set it up well, most of the focus is on green and Whitworth is an unbelievable downfield blocker. AJ Green is the matchup nightmare. I think Slay is the better option to stay with Green rather than Mathis but he ll need safety help rolled over the top to help once the ball is in the air. The Lions should be experts at how to take away a stud No 1 WR the way teams have done to Calvin Johnson but they will give up plays to AJ Green and the TEs can hurt them in the middle of the field when the saftey rolls over. Dalton is a good QB particularly with accuracy and willingness to let players like Green make a play on the ball. He gets the ball out quick but wont pick you apart. The Lions might have more success going to a zone defense to force Dalton to hold it a little bit longer. Dalton doesnt have above average arm talent. The line does a decent job protecting him but he doesnt scramble well enough to consistently extend plays though he can pick up the occassional first down. The Lions DL should have a big advantage over the interior of the Bengals line and Dalton isnt evasive enough to avoid interior pressure or athletic enough to make a play despite it. I want to see Fairley at times head up over the nose where he should be able to beat Kyle Cook. The tackles Smith and Whitworth should be able to handle the Lions inexperiened ends though both can make plays if they keep the motor going to clean up plays created by Suh and hopefully Fairley and Mosley.

Cincy defense: They are led by an outstanding defensive front with big athletic pass rushing ends Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap. Johnson is a bit overrated but 3rd DE Gilberry is impressive and maybe a better all around players. Atkins is as good as it gets inside and his big thing is pass rushing but he s an outstanding all around player. Even though Warford may have a size advantage on Atkins I doubt Warford can handle Atkins alone bc Atkins technique is impeccable and he always plays with balance, leverage, power and really knows how to use his body positioning and arms. Peko is a good player who is more of a run stuffer but athletic enough to make plays in the passing game. The young backup DTs Thompson and Still are talented but not yet productive. The Lions will try to keep the aggressiveness in check with delayed runs and screens to keep them from passrushing Stafford. The key however might be to watch last weeks tape where the Bills consistently were able to push the Bengals DL off the LOS and run it there face. Im thinking its LeShoures time to shine with Bell banged up and he just needs to follow his blocks and not do too much and make sure ball security is the No 1 priority. In this game I really like the middle screen if we get into a passing mode. The Bengals dont blitz much but when they do they have James Harrison though he hasnt looked all that good in there system so far and they seem to be trying to incorporate Michael Boley a bit more though he doesnt look like he has much left. Burfict is a tackle machine with great instincts and can keep blockers off of his body to make plays but still tends to rack up personal fouls. Mualuaga is more of a coverage player who gets a lot of tackles bc teams know they will gain yards by running at him. Bush has too much speed for either of them if the Lions can force a coverage mismatch and neither seems like they can combat Fauria s size in isolation. In the secondary, the Lions will want to get Adam Jones lined up on an outside WR where he cant hold his own, he s much better if covering in the slot. Hall is the best corner but no match for a healthy Johnson if thats how they decide to play it which they should. Newman is capable of keeping up with Kris Durham though again there is the huge size advantage and Stafford seems like he s been able to figure out to get the ball to Durham now. If Durham cant win that matchup then Ogletree should be able to particularly on quick slants. Dre Kirkpatrick has been a bust so far but they could potentially use him to combat the Lions size or they could try to use the 6'4 Iloka to man up as well. Nelson is an above average player at safety and as a group the secondary has played very well for them. Cutler, Rodgers, Brady and Roethlisberger struggled against them. Then again Thad Lewis and the Bills seemed to find something and had some success.

ST - kicker Nugent is average - he can make long kicks or miss short ones like he did last week, will keep the returners on there toes by kicking the high short quick and changing distance on kickoffs. Spurlock should bring the kicks out bc there coverage is just average. Punter doesnt really flip the field but has good placement. Cincy return game isnt to be feared as Pacman Jones the biggest return threat is just as likely to make a boneheaded play.

Summary - Cincy has some size in the secondary to match up in the red zone but I dont see how they can handle Bush in coverage and I think the Lions will be able to run on them. The Lions will need Calvin Johnson to be more than a decoy today and I think he s ready to make sure AJ Green doesnt show him up. Pettigrew and Fauria will need to stay involved in the short passing game and I think Newman can be beat by Ogletree or Durham provided they hold onto the ball. The Lions DL strength matches up well vs the interior of the Bengals line though the Bengals weapons outside are better than the Lions secondary. Im scared of big plays bc the Lions can be beat deep, fooled on screens and reverses and the Bengals are good at executing those plays. Cincy is probably the more talented, better coached team and better team overall but the Lions have the better QB and the home field advantage. I think the key will be beating either Newman or Pacman Jones outside for big plays where both were exposed a week ago for big plays by suspect Buffalo Bills receivers being fed by the Lions 4th string QB.

Lions 41
Bengals 31


October 20th, 2013, 11:52 am
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
Lions have activated Jeremy Ross for this game, he s already played vs Cincy once this year while on the Packers. Do the Lions see a matchup they like with him vs someone in the Cincy secondary or is it just bc of so many other injuries?


October 20th, 2013, 12:46 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
Stafford has not looked accurate for most games this season. He is completing passes but it's either the easy ones or WRs making great plays. He missed CJ and Durham deep today when each had a step. Even his short throws are off. What's going on with him.

And right after I posted he missed Broyles in the endzone.


October 20th, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
1st half: Stafford picking apart zone defense but no touch on his deep passes. As I predicted the WRs are consistently beating the Bengals deep unfortunately Stafford accuracy is off. Refs called an offside on defensive TD where Lions timed snap and got out of stances a lil early but were not offsides! Then on blocked FG the Bengals forward lateral twice and no ref or even announcer sees it, somehow they didnt let Schwartz challenge either. Lions need to make some corrections on defense, for example Palmer should never be covering AJ Green and if Quinn is rolled over to help Houston, he should help Houston not let Houston fend for himself and fgive up an 80 yd TD. Offensively the game plan is working but not hitting the big plays. Waddle though looks like he s not ready in for Reiff. Didnt like Schwartz decision to sit on 2 timeouts and 30 seconds with Nelson and Hall out of the game.


October 20th, 2013, 2:49 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
inheritedlionsfan wrote:
Stafford has not looked accurate for most games this season. He is completing passes but it's either the easy ones or WRs making great plays. He missed CJ and Durham deep today when each had a step. Even his short throws are off. What's going on with him.

And right after I posted he missed Broyles in the endzone.


Completely agree.....and I've gotten blasted by a couple people on this board when I've mentioned this before. Stafford is responsible for the Bengals being ahead at half time. The Lions should have three TDs. And the one TD they got was because Pettigrew made a great catch on a throw that was well placed, but had way too much mustard on it. Previous to that, Stafford blew too fade route throws. Then he missed on Durham in the end zone, and then the Broyles miss.

As you said, he's completing some of the easier throws, but he's also missed on some throws that should have been no-brainers.

Outside of that, the offensive line has looked pretty sketchy. Not really great pass protection, and the run blocking is not too good either. Secondly, Chris Houston is having one of his worst games since becoming a Lion. He blew coverage on both TD passes given up, and has looked poor in a couple other plays as well.

Also, I'd like to know why the Bengals were NOT called for unnecessary roughness on that hit against a defenseless Calvin Johnson in the first quarter. If it had been the Lions on that play hitting AJ Green, it would have been flagged for certain.

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October 20th, 2013, 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Cincinnati Bengals
Tulloch gave up the big play to Gresham there but an outstanding job on the screen play to take away two blockers after the entire DL failed to pick up screen allowing Delmas to make a field goal forcing tackle.


October 20th, 2013, 3:18 pm
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