It’s the all important third game of the preseason so JBB is rolling out the regular season coverage. This week the Silver and Black welcome the Detroit Lions back to the Black Hole. Raider Nation still hasn’t forgotten the come from behind beating the Lions laid on Oakland’s playoff hopes last season. Even though there is not a playoff birth on the line there are plenty of jobs at stake and lots of pride to play for.
Zac Snyder is the editor of one of FanSided’s best blogs – SideLion Report. Like the Lions, Snyder built a beast while everyone else was sleeping on Motown. Now, like the Lions he covers, Snyder’s blog is impossible to ignore. Zac was kind enough to reach out to JBB for a Q&A for the upcoming tilt so we tossed a few questions his way as well.
JBB: What kind of expectations do Lions fans have for this team in 2012?
Zac Snyder: Most Lions fans are looking for the team to build off last season. What exactly that means depends on the individual fan. I’m looking for the Lions to prove that last season was no fluke with another ten win season and playoff appearance. Some might consider falling in the Wild Card round for a second consecutive year as not progressing but even becoming a perennial playoff challenger has to be considered progress from where this team spent most of the 2000s.
JBB: Which rookie from the 2012 class have impressed thus far?
ZS: Third round cornerback Bill Bentley out of Louisiana-Lafayette is the player that has turned the most heads so far. He will see a lot of action for the Lions this year and it looks like he will even open up as their starting corner opposite Chris Houston.
JBB: Will the NFC North be the most competitive division in all of the NFL this season?
ZS: It will certainly be one of the most competitive. The NFC East and AFC North have a chance to be just as good but the Lions, Bears and Packers form a very good trio. All three could have been playoff teams a year ago if it wasn’t for the rash of injuries the Bears suffered mid-season. All three are as good or better as last year so this should be a real fight all the way down to the week 17 matchup between the Lions and Bears in Detroit.
JBB: Which camp battle is worth keeping an eye on for Saturday’s game?
ZS: With Jahvid Best’s injury and Mikel Leshoure’s suspension to start the season it looks to me that Keiland Williams and Joique Bell could both be on the opening day roster. Whether or not both get to stick around long terms remains to be seen. Both have had productive preseasons so watch to see if that continues or if one back seems to pull ahead of the other. The punting job is also up for grabs between Ben Graham and Ryan Donahue, although that is a battle that shouldn’t excite anyone.
JBB: Is Kellen Moore going to become the Tim Tebow of the Motor City?
ZS: Definitely not. Tim Tebow may not be a great quarterback in a classical sense but he does have a unique skill set that is useful in the right situation. Kellen Moore can not make such a claim. He looked better in his second outing last week but did so with a lot of checkdowns that helped to hide his deficient arm strength. I was really excited to see him play this preseason but haven’t been wowwed by what he has done. The team released R.J. Archer, the only other quarterback they had in camp, but Moore still has to prove he is worthy of making the 53-man roster. With so many teams now choosing to carry just two quarterbacks, it’s looking like the Lions can do better with a roster spot than carry Moore on anything more than the practice squad.