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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Patrick Marleau

10/2011 Detroit Lions Top 20 Players

October 19th 2011 15:53
1. WR Calvin Johnson- Really the only reason why this offense functions. Stafford's fine, but he would be half the player with Johnson. Of course that goes with most QBs, but Stafford isn't really all that good. He's above-average- which isn't bad- but nothing more; he's overrated by a lot of guys.

2. DE Cliff Avril- Yeah, the underrated Avril is their second best player. To tell you the truth, the Lions aren't really that talented. You may think I am underrating Suh, but the young tackle has a lot to prove. For as great as he is as a pass rusher, Avril is better. One other thing, Avril isn't a liability against the run.

3. DT Ndamukong Suh- A little overrated, but he is still a beast.

4. DT Corey Williams- Loses too much credit because of Suh, as he is just as good as the sophomore sensation. Did I also say that the Lions are overrated as a team and playing over their heads? Like, their offense has only one strength, and that's a passing offense that should be described exactly how I said Matt Stafford is as a player; above-average, but nothing more. Defensively, the front seven is great; but the secondary sucks.

5. QB Matthew Stafford- There really wasn't that much of a choice.

6. LB Stephen Tulloch- He's getting lucky in coverage this year, but I never doubt the guy as a run-stuffer.

7. LB Justin Durant- The only thing he's good at is stopping the run, but boy does he mess with running backs.

8. S Louis Delmas- The only strength in the secondary. Chris Houston is alright, but Delmas is the only guy who you can truly call "good". And even then, he really isn't that good.

9. LT Jeff Backus- The only solid player on a very poor line that got destroyed- as expected- by the Smiths.

10. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch- He really needs to improve though, because he has been pretty bad these past two seasons.

11. TE Brandon Pettigrew- He drops everything and is an overrated player, but he's better than the guys behind him on this list.

12. LB DeAndre Levy- At least he isn't their best linebacker anymore. That's not a knock on Levy, but my knock is that he is above-average at best.

13. DT Sammie Hill- Underrated player who is yet another guy on the line overshadowed by Suh.

14. CB Eric Wright- While he isn't such a good player in coverage, Wright is one of the best corners in the league against the run. As far as physical corners go, Wright is probably in the top ten.

15. S Amari Spievey- Schwartz, I'm still waiting for that breakout you promised me. He's been OK, but I think he still has something to prove.

16. QB Shaun Hill- He actually isn't that much worse than Stafford, but he is worse.

17. WR Nate Burleson- He can catch and run routes, what more do you want?

18. DE Lawrence Jackson- I'm running out of ideas.

19. DT Nick Fairley- Yeah, this is definitely a "potential" ranking.

20. RB Jahvid Best- I really tried to avoid putting him on this list, but I ran out of ideas. He can catch and is explosive, but he is a terrible running back overall. Why? It's only because he just isn't very good at actually consistently getting yardage! Simply put, he can't run! This is a guy who averages three yards per carry, and this isn't a statistical fluke either. The line may be bad, but they aren't that bad to make Best a 3 YPC guy automatically.
Overrated, but still pretty good

9/2011 QB Rankings

September 29th 2011 18:27
1. Aaron Rodgers- The NFL's version of The Machine
2. Tom Brady- Look past the four picks; he owned the Bills
3. Drew Brees- He rips up secondaries
4. Peyton Manning- MVP
5. Philip Rivers- Repeat after me: 4,700
6. Tony Romo- Kevlar baby
7. Ben Roethlisberger- Can't believe dude got married
8. Michael Vick- He ain't whining, the complaints are legit
9. Eli Manning- Peter Keating has it right; Eli is underrated
10. Matt Ryan- Matty Ice is melting
11. Matt Schaub- This guy
12. Joe Flacco- QBR has him as the best QB, why is this a bad stat again? Oh yeah, cause Brady's been better
13. Josh Freeman- The reason why the Bucs don't suck
14. Matthew Stafford- He's fo real
15. Jay Cutler- How many hits does he have to take? Memo to Bears' line: Get your hands out of your ass and get to work!
16. Kevin Kolb- Levi Brown is his worst enemy, but at least he has a BFF in Fitzgerald
17. Ryan Fitzpatrick- Who said the smart guys can't play ball?
18. Sam Bradford- If only he had receivers....
19. Cam Newton- Disappointing against the Jags
20. Colt McCoy- West Coast we mash up!
Have you seen his line?

8/2011 QB Rankings

August 24th 2011 14:50
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Peyton Manning
3. Tom Brady
4. Drew Brees
5. Philip Rivers
6. Tony Romo
7. Ben Roethlisberger
8. Matt Ryan
9. Michael Vick
10. Matt Schaub
11. Eli Manning
12. Joe Flacco
13. Josh Freeman
14. Jay Cutler
15. Matthew Stafford
16. Kyle Orton
17. Matt Cassel
18. Sam Bradford
19. Kevin Kolb
20. Colt McCoy
21. Mark Sanchez
22. Donovan McNabb
23. Ryan Fitzpatrick
24. David Garrard
25. Jason Campbell
26. Chad Henne
27. Alex Smith
28. Matt Hasselbeck
29. John Beck
30. Tavaris Jackson
*Rookies Not Included
Not Overrated

8/2011 Team Scope: Detroit Lions

August 15th 2011 15:19
The Detroit Lions have certainly helped themselves again this offseason, but I still don't think they are a playoff team just yet. While the return of Matthew Stafford will certainly be a boost to this offense, I think the Lions are overrated offensively.

Mikel LeShoure figured to be an important piece in Detroit's offense, but we won't be able to see how he fits in this year. Jahvid Best is a mediocre back, and I think Jerome Harrison will win the starting job. He isn't a special player by any means, but Harrison is a better rusher than anybody on this roster.

The Lions strength on offense is easily their group of receivers. There's no doubt that Calvin Johnson is one of the top five most talented and dangerous receivers in the NFL today. Titus Young, Nate Burleson, and Rashied Davis are all serviceable wideouts to compliment Johnson. Although Brandon Pettigrew's stats are inflated, he is a very good pass-catching tight end who gets a ton of targets. Last year, Shaun Hill proved that he is among the best backups out there in Stafford's absence. The Lions would obviously really like Stafford to play every game this year, but they can feel comfortable knowing that they have a backup who isn't all that bad.

Even though the passing attack is solid, the offensive line likely won't be helping out Stafford and Co. enough in 2011. Left tackle Jeff Backus is decent, but you don't want your best offensive lineman to be just "decent". Left guard Rob Sims is poor, Dominic Raiola is mediocre, Stephen Pearman was great in 2009 but was awful last year, and Gosder Cherilus is extremely close to being considered a bust. They are subpar in pass protection and are a horrible run blocking unit.

I count seven players on the Lions' defensive line who can make a sizeable impact. Collectively, they are one of the best three defensive lines in the entire league. Cliff Avril is far too underrated, and he is the best pass rusher on this line (better than Suh and Vanden Bosch). Avril is athletic and explosive, and he is one of the best third down pass rushers in the game. Lawrence Jackson is a capable backup, and Kyle Vanden Bosch is the veteran who everybody loves.

On the interior, rookie Nick Fairley figures to make an impact behind veteran starter Corey Williams. I am glad that the Lions chose to start Williams over Fairley, even though Fairley has more hype. Last season's Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh is one of the best interior pass rushers in the game, but he definitely needs to work on his run-stopping ability. Sammie Lee Hill will rotate in frequently and is an overlooked player who was terrific last year after a terrible 2009 campaign.

In yet another productive offseason, the Lions completely revamped their linebackers and no longer have one of the worst back sevens in the league. They still have an awful secondary, but they now have a very nice looking group of LBs. Expert run-stopper/tackling machine Stephen Tulloch was signed as a free agent, as well as another great run-stuffing linebacker in Justin Durant. One of those two players will likely be a 2 down linebacker, and that guy is probably going to be Durant. Neither of these two can cover at all, but both are very valuable linebackers.

I have no idea why Chris Houston is currently listed as the starter over Eric Wright. Right now, Wright is the team's only solid corner. He's a pretty good player, but I can't say the same for Houston. Alphonso Smith is listed as the other starter, but Smith is terrible. He can make big plays from time to time, but he is absolutely terrible in coverage. He gambles all the time, and his backup- Nathan Vasher- is even worse. Remember when Vasher used to be good though?

Free Safety Louis Delmas is a little overrated, but he's still a good player overall. Jim Schwartz says that Amari Spievey is poised to break out next year, and the Lions better hope that he does. They need some more production out of their secondary; although a good season from Spievey will never negate terrible cornerback play.

The Lions have made progress, but they are an overrated team. I think they're going to end up being 8-8 at best, and I don't see them making the playoffs. However, they will be a playoff team if they make serious upgrades in the secondary and add a solid tackle and guard to the offensive line.
Lions' best player

Detroit Lions B minus- Nick Fairley slipped, and the Lions knew that his value at the 13th pick was too good to pass up on. While he doesn't fill a need- the Lions are already beastly at D-Tackle with Suh, Corey Williams, and Sammie Lee Hill- Fairley was far too talented to not pick. Titus Young will definitely help out Matthew Stafford because Detroit's third receiver last year- Bryant Johnson- was horrendous. Mikel LeShoure will spell the end of Kevin Smith in Detroit.

Green Bay Packers B minus- Derek Sherrod was needed to bulk up the tackles, and Randall Cobb was a nice selection at the end of the second round. He's a playmaking receiver that will most likely replace James Jones. Cobb will probably handle returns, and he will also make an impact in the passing game because the Packers love their four receiver sets.To me, Davon House was the best pick the Packers made. Although they are already stocked at corner, House was a steal as a compensatory pick in the fourth round. House fits what Dom Capers does defensively, and he is another one of those really good press corners. D.J. Williams was a solid 5th round choice at tight end

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