This week, I was able to ask fellow Sports Gab Network member Anthony Kuehn some questions about the upcoming matchup between the Eagles and Lions.
I’d like to thank Anthony for taking out the time to answer my questions. Hope everyone else enjoys!
EaglesGab: I have to ask. What are your thoughts on the Calvin Johnson reception that wasn’t a reception?
LionsGab: I understand what the rule says, but I don’t understand the interpretation of a “second act.” Calvin caught the ball, got both feet down, one knee, his hip and an elbow. Any one of those situations is enough to establish a catch in bounds, why weren’t the feet down considered the first act, the knee the second, hip third and elbow fourth?
EG: How did Shaun Hill look when coming in for Matthew Stafford? Are you confident in him?
LG: Hill did not play very well when he came in, but it had less to do with his play and more to do with the defense that he was facing. The Lions weren’t running the ball very well, so the Bears dropped seven in coverage and didn’t leave Hill much room to make plays. With such a close game and the way the Lions’ defense was playing, the playcalling was more conservative than usual to avoid making mistakes. Hill’s a veteran and proven winner, but he can’t create plays like Stafford can. The Lions need to establish the run for Hill to succeed.
EG: Jahvid Best scored twice against the Bears but only had 20 yards rushing. What are your impressions of Best after his first regular season game?
LG: Best and the offensive line looked out of sync against the Bears. I was surprised they didn’t switch to more formations with a fullback to help with the middle penetration the Bears were getting. Best biggest assets are his speed and agility, he can’t use those when he’s got defenders on him two steps after taking the handoff.
EG: Where did the Lions struggle the most against the Bears and did it surprise you?
LG: Like I mentioned before, I expected the Lions to run the ball better than they did. It’s a little bit of a which came first, the chicken or the egg scenario. Did the Lions struggle to run because they didn’t challenge the Bears deep, or couldn’t they challenge the Bears deep because they couldn’t run? The Lions added so many new players and the starters didn’t play together a ton in the preseason so I think they haven’t quite jelled yet. I knew they might not be firing on all cylinders right away, but I was surprised they struggled as much as they did.
EG: As a Lions fan, would you rather play against Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick? Why?
LG: The strength of the Lions’ defense is the defensive line and their aggressive pash rush. Against Vick you can’t rush so aggressively without leaving huge running lanes, so he complicates the pass rush. Kolb is a more accurate passer, but constant pressure makes it tough to make accurate throws. I think the Lions’ defense would be more successful against Kolb.
EG: Where do you see the Lions having an advantage on offense? On defense?
LG: Offensively the Lions have the size and speed of their receivers and tight ends in their favor, but if they can’t keep the defense honest with the running game they won’t be able to take advantage of that. Defensively the Lions’ line is an advantage because of the ability to get pressure without blitzing.
EG: Where do you see the Eagles having an advantage on offense? On defense?
LG: Like I said earlier, Vick cancels out some of the advantage the Lions’ get from their defensive line with his ability to scramble. The Eagles also have a lot of speed which doesn’t give the defense a lot of margin for error. Defensively, the Eagles’ scheme gives them an edge because of all the different looks they give an offense. You know pressure is coming, but you don’t know where. It can cause confusion with blocking assignments and makes it difficult for the offense to excute their gameplan.
EG: Give me a score prediction.
LG: I don’t do score predictions because of superstition and the fact that I am horrible at them, but I do think the Eagles will improve to 1-1 against the NFC North on Sunday.
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