Okay, first thing’s first. I am monumentally relieved to read this morning that Rams defensive back Terry Fair only suffered a sprained neck last night and is likely to resume playing soon. On a play that brought back shades of Mike Utley and Reggie Brown, Terry Fair took a helmet between his neck and shoulder last night while trying to tackle Kevin Jones and immediately went limp. He was on the turf, twitching but otherwise completely motionless. Having seen that scene occur live on the Lions home field twice in the last 14 years, it was hard not to assume the worst. And the fact that it was a former, and very much liked, Lion in Terry Fair lying there didn’t help. When he left the field and gave the assembled players and fans a thumbs up it was shades of Mike Utley all over again, so I can’t say how happy I am to read he’s just fine.
That was the only good news to come out of last night’s game.
Joey Harrington is sure to take his lumps in the media and talk radio over this one, but god, it could’ve been Dan Marino in there and it wouldn’t have made a difference. It was like watching a game of Madden with line blocking set to zero. Harrington couldn’t even complete a 5-step drop without a Rams defender giving him a sense of what flavor of Tic Tac he preferred. I lost count of the number of times he was flat on his back, so from where I sit, 9 of 18 for about 100 yards and no picks isn’t cause for alarm. Though, certainly, the offensive line play is.
The bigger concern has got to be the defense. I watched the game with a buddy of mine and when we finally succumbed to boredom with 10 to go in the fourth quarter the Rams had yet to punt. I know their offense is good, but give me a break. Bulger was able to sit back in the pocket and just wait for guys to get open, though with the Lions coverage he didn’t need much time. It was the most pathetic defensive display I’ve seen from the Lions since their last Monday night game (something like three years ago) when they also got pasted by the Rams. (I think it was on the order of 35-0.)
At this point its safe to say my enthusiasm for the season took a serious hit. It’s only pre-season but if this is really what the defense is gonna look like there’s very little point in getting excited. I still think this offense can turn the corner and put up big number… hell, they’re going to have to just to keep things close.