Eagles At Lions - Five Questions With The Enemy

In order to better know the Eagles opponent this Sunday, I traded questions this week with Lions blogger Sean Yuille over at Pride Of Detroit.

What once looked like an early season matchup between two up and coming young starting QBs has turned into a Michael Vick vs Shaun Hill matchup. What did you make of Hill's performance last week and what are your expectations of him for the next few weeks?

To put it nicely, the offense didn't do squat when Hill was the quarterback until that final drive that finished in controversial fashion. Before that the Lions struggled to even get a first down and the offense honestly looked lost. I won't put that all on Hill, because the terrible play calling did him no favors, but the entire offense seemed to be off. Now that he's had a week of practice as the starter, I think things will go much more smoothly for Hill and the Lions, but I don't think expectations are too high for him based on last week's game.

When I saw the Chiefs beat the Chargers Monday night and how excited that team and fanbase was, I couldn't help but think how it made the Calvin Johnson "non" catch even worse. You guys had a chance to have that same kind of victory that would have pumped up the team and infused a new optimism amongst the fanbase and it was just stolen. I'm sure you're sick of it, but would you mind giving us a few thoughts? How does it affect the team?

That's a very accurate comparison. All offseason fans have been excited about the possibility of finally having a successful season. There has been plenty of talk about getting better, but last Sunday was the first chance to see any proof of it. While the Lions did struggle, they still were in the game and should have won, which is something we can't say about past Lions teams. When they struggled before, it was usually blowout city, so it was encouraging to see them stay in the game despite losing Matthew Stafford. In the end, though, a lot of that optimism was simply washed away with that one call, as fans went from feeling good about the performance to feeling disappointment about how the game ended. There's no doubt that the fan base was crushed by the call, and it has unfortunately taken away a lot of excitement surrounding the team going forward.

What do you make of the Lions offensive line so far this year?

During the preseason, the starting O-line looked good. With the addition of Rob Sims (the starting left guard), the Lions have five solid starters for the first time in, well, a long time. That said, Jeff Backus has taken a lot of heat for allowing the sack that got Matthew Stafford injured, and as a unit, the O-line seemed to struggle against Chicago, as the running game went nowhere. That could have just been a bad game, or it could be a sign that the O-line still has work to do. It's too early to tell at this point.

In just 11 starts in the NFL, Matt Stafford has now sustained 3 notable injuries. Are you starting to be concerned about his durability?

At this point you have to be concerned. I'm not ready to call him injury prone just yet, as bad luck has had a lot to do with these injuries, but for Stafford to have experienced this many injuries already is scary. The Lions can't afford to rely on backup quarterbacks to win games, as the Daunte Culpepper experiment taught us last year. Yes, Shaun Hill is a lot better than Culpepper, but neither is on the same level as Stafford when he's healthy. To have a successful season, the Lions need a healthy Stafford, so the injuries are definitely a cause for concern.

If you could steal one Eagle and add him to your roster, who would it be?

Some Lions fans who haven't moved on would say Ernie Sims, and my inner Michigan fan wants me to say Brandon Graham. In reality, though, I would have to go with Asante Samuel. While the Lions have improved their secondary quite a bit compared to last season (replacing every defensive back not named Louis Delmas), it still could use additional help, and Samuel would serve as a big upgrade to both the starting lineup and depth at cornerback.

For more of our chat with Sean Yuille check out SB Nation Philly.

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