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Chat With Lions Gab

I took some time this week to exchange questions with Lions Gab editor Anthony Kuehn, my half of the questions are here at Lions Gab. Let’s get into some gameday questions!

RamsGab: The Lions are 0-4, but should be 1-3 so far, what is your impression
of the Lions so far?

LionsGab: The Lions have had to play all three of their divisional road games in the first four weeks, they lost their starting quarterback and they have been competitive in every game. I think they are on the verge of putting some wins up in the next few weeks. I think the season will turn around after the bye week. Stafford should be coming back around that time and they’ll have already played four road games in the first six weeks.

RG: Shaun Hill looks like he is playing again this week. What is the
difference between Shaun Hill and Matt Stafford? Does Shaun Hill
bring any advantages to the table?

LG: Shaun Hill is a game manager who is capable of leading a team, but he can’t carry a team. Matthew Stafford has the ability to make everybody around him better and make plays that are the difference between winning and losing. The Lions lose a lot with Stafford being out. Shaun Hill is definitely one of the better backups in the league, so I think the Lions have less of a dropoff from starter to backup. However, Stafford has franchise quarterback skills and Hill doesn’t.

RG: The Rams obviously should be afraid of Jahvid Best and Calvin Johnson
on offense. Have they been able to get the offense moving forward
with big plays so far this season?

LG: Best has been banged up and Calvin Johnson finally got on track last week against the Packers. Teams routinely triple teamed Calvin Johnson last year and they’ve been blanketing him pretty heavily again this season. Best has put up some good numbers, but he still isn’t a consistent threat running the ball. In order for the Lions’ offense to realize it’s potential Best needs to make teams fear the running game. The Lions league leading tight end duo has been opening up the offense the last few weeks and with Nate Burleson coming back, that could give Best and Johnson more openings.

RG: The Rams are tough on an offensive line, how is Detroit’s offensive
line holding up this season? Is it a strength or weakness so far?

LG: The Lions offensive line is vastly improved over last year. They have had problems at the guard positions int he past, but with the addition of Rob Sims and a somewhat healthy Stephen Peterman they have been solid. The Vikings, Bears, Eagles and Packers are all good pass rushing teams and the Lions handled them pretty well…other that the hit that injured Stafford.

RG: Ndamukong Suh was an obvious target for Rams fans in the draft. How
is Suh playing so far?

LG: Suh has three sacks in four games and draws double teams on the majority of his snaps. I really liked Suh coming out, but defensive tackles almost never make a huge impact early in their careers, Suh seems to be the exception. He does get a lot of support from the rest of the Lions line which makes it easier for him to make plays. With Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams and Cliff Avril there’s only so many ways to block them so it allows Suh to make more plays than he would on a weaker line.

RG: The Rams only victory in 2009 was at Detroit. Is there any sense of
revenge for the Lions or Lions fans for this matchup?

LG: The only thing that stood between the Rams and their own 0-16 was the Lions’ special teams coach last year. Stan Kwan cost the Lions the game because he called the same field goal block play for several weeks before the Rams played the Lions. The Rams called a fake field goal designed to exploit that play and instead of kicking a field goal going into halftime, the Rams scored a touchdown and deflated the home crowd. The Lions never recovered and Stan Kwan wound up losing his job last season. That loss signaled to Lions fans that last season was another lost season. Another loss to the Rams will do the same, so I think that’s where the real motivation comes in this week.


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