Lions-Falcons: Preseason Champs Face Regular-Season Competition

Michael KinkellaContributor ISeptember 10, 2008

The Detroit Lions came into Week One confident against Atlanta after winning all four preseason games. What does that mean? Well, absolutely nothing, and the Lions proved it.

While Detroit plays to win in the preseason, other teams are trying to develop their players and new schemes. Week One in Atlanta was full of nothing but pure disappointment for the "Motor City Kitties."

Let's start on the defense.

First of all, it appeared like the Lions were a bunch of middle-school schoolgirls trying to tackle a horse all day. Apparently they forgot how to tackle. Michael Turner racked up 220 yards on just 22 carries.

About 200 of those yards came after first contact. In other words, just about every time Turner gained yards, he broke at least one tackle, many times he broke three or four.

Michael Turner is a good back, don't get me wrong, but Week One was the best performance you will see out of him all year. And Matt Ryan...Well, he looked amazing, despite just throwing 13 balls.

Ryan became the first quarterback in eight years to throw a touchdown in just his first NFL attempt, throwing a 62-yard bomb to Michael Jenkins.

I would like to say that this was just a fluke and it will get better for the Detroit defense, but I don't see any signs of this, as they went back to their awful habits of last season.

Now let's talk about this high-powered offense.

All we heard in Detroit this offseason was how the Lions were going to run the ball and run the ball with authority. Well, watching them play on Sunday, I saw a team run the ball because they said they would run, and not because they were good at it.

As a team, they ran for just 62 yards. Turner alone ran for 220, and as a TEAM, Detroit runs for 62...UGLY!!

The passing offense was alright. Jon Kitna played well, despite his interception, throwing for 246 yards and two touchdowns. Detroit's offensive line could use some help. Kitna was still getting beat up, and Kevin Smith had no place to run, which makes it look like this could be another long year in Detroit.

Next week, Detroit returns to Ford Field to play division rival Green Bay. Led by Aaron Rodgers on Monday night, Green Bay came out confident and appeared to be in good hands under their new quarterback.

Only time will tell if Green Bay has made the right decision, but look for them to start out 2-0 after Sunday, and look to be the favorite yet again in the NFC North.