Continuing what I hope will be a weekly feature, I swapped five questions with Sean Yuille of Pride of Detroit, where Sean's doing a great job of previewing the upcoming game. I strongly advise everyone to check his coverage out, but first, here's my half of the Five Questions:
1.Are the Lions better than, equal to, or worse than their record?
Sean Yuille: I'd definitely say the Lions are better than their record would indicate. Detroit has lost many close games; in fact, that's the way most of their losses have turned out. Other than the Bears game, every one has been won or lost in the closing stages of the game. Unfortunately, it seems like all of the close ones have gone against Detroit , but as bad as the record seems, the Lions haven't been that bad.
Dave: I'm inclined to agree. Detroit has a considerable amount of talent on both sides of the ball; putting it together appears to be the problem, which is possibly due to the dark magic of Matt Millen. It's disappointing because the Lions had higher expectations this year, but they can still build for 2007.
2. What does Jon Kitna bring to the table for your
team? Any chance that he will be replaced by Orlovsky at some point, despite Kitna's good play so far?
Sean Yuille: Kitna has brought some valued leadership and experience that Detroit has just been missing at the QB position in the last few years. His passes are right on target and he manages the offense well. There's no way he'll be benched any time soon, and even if he was for some reason Josh McCown would come on to the field next. But, Kitna is actually near the top of the statistical rankings for all QBs, so he hasn't been bad enough yet to be benched.
Dave: I've always been a Kitna fan, even back in his Seattle years, when it appeared he was an average QB at best. He's parlayed heart and determination into a pretty good career, and he's played very well this year. The questions is whether the Lions want to see what they've got with Orlovsky, and if I were the Lions I might sit him for the last two games. Sean's right, though; it's not likely they'll bench Kitna for any reason.
3. Your most dangerous player from both offense and defense?
Sean Yuille: On offense, the obvious choice is Roy Williams simply because of his abilities to catch the ball over defenders and get into the endzone. But, an unnoticed choice would be Mike Furrey. Furrey has stepped it up coming off of the bench and has earned a starting spot in the lineup thanks to consistently good play. Furrey can make the tough catches on third down to advance the chains. On defense, I really would have to say rookie Ernie Sims. Sims leads the Lions in tackles I believe, and is a fierce player who can get to the ball quickly. It's not often you see a Matt Millen draft pick do something good, but Sims has proved himself so far this season.
Dave: I approve of the Matt Millen dig. Roy Williams strikes me as a T.O. type, which isn't to disparage his talent; only his mouth. Furrey's that Ricky Proehl type that exudes loveable scrappiness and has enough talent to make a big impact out of the slot. As a No.2, he's done better than I would've expected. Definitely agree with the selection of Sims: the kid has vast potential.
4. What strategy do you expect the Lions to use
against the recently unstoppable Falcons offense?
Sean Yuille:Basically, just to not give up the big plays. I and everybody else knows that the Falcons can torch any defense, and one that has a weaker secondary like the Lions especially. I would expect Detroit to come out and try to contain Atlanta 's offense more than anything. Mike Vick can beat you on the ground or through the air, so just limiting the damage is all I would hope Detroit does.
Dave: This could be a trap game for Vick, who is clearly gaining confidence exponentially. Then again, it could be a case where he swings for the fences and puts up some TDs (to mix metaphors), and in that case, I like the Falcons' chances.
5. Any chance the Lions can take down the Falcons and uphold Roy Williams' prediction of a perfect season from here on out?
Sean Yuille: If that somehow happens, then Hell will be freezing over, and I'm not talking about the city in Michigan . There is absolutely no chance the Lions win out, heck, I'm just hoping for a few more wins at best. Roy Williams has had a big mouth all season, and although this came off as optimistic more than anything after looking at it, not even the most positive-thinking person on Earth could think Detroit will finish the season 9-0. Let's just say, if that did happen, I'd prepare for some sort of apocalypse, because the Lions haven't even won more than three games in a row in what seems like forever.
Dave: Again, I see this as a classic trap game. The Falcons might look past their next two games and run into some trouble, especially against the Lions, who have some playmakers on defense and a high octane offense. If the Falcons come prepared and Hall covers Roy Williams well, it's probably going to be difficult for the Lions to win the game.
A round of applause for Sean, and let's hope for a good game on Sunday. I'll have my usual Friday injury report tomorrow, and be sure to check for my answers to Sean's question over at his blog.