Okay, I skipped the blog updates all summer as I was trying to avoid my being so negative, but now that game 1 is out of the way I don't find a reason to continue to avoid it.
I wasn't happy about the cuts, but was happy about the Rudi Johnson and Nece pickups. Though I think cutting Gardner and keeping Cannon would've been the smarter choice. I didn't like that they cut all the returners, but the new guy, Thomas, may have a future in it IF he quits hesitating and just goes full bore, thinking and cutting while on the fly. I didn't like the loss of Buster Davis, or going into the season with the exact same starting Linebackers, they are just too important in the T2 defense to stop the run. I didn't like keeping 11 dlinemen... there was no need, 3 of them will be inactive every week anyway... most likely. I didn't like only having 4 WRs and 4 TEs. I also HATE that the rookies they do keep aren't being promoted to starter status over the ineffective starters. Despite what they think, the problems on offense was not Martz and the problems on defense was not all S. Rogers.
Okay, so Game 1. Did they mix the run and pass effectively? No. Was it because of the running backs? No. Was it the 4 tight ends on the roster? Nope. Was it the play calling? Nope. It was the inability of the offensive line to block. Period. Same problem as last year. And what do you know, the starting line is the exact same starting line as last year. Golly. Hard to figure out why they can't run.
Smith is a keeper though, did you see him throw his body in a fake at the goal line so that Kitna could complete an easy pass to Fitz? Wow. Rudi is no slouch either, he just needs time (lots of it) to learn the plays. That is normal and another small complaint I had to those who were okay with keeping two RBs and hoping the Lions would pick up another or suggesting they must be planning it, as if the Lions could know that a worthy one would be available and would actually sign with them.
The Falcons completed 9 passes. That's it. That's all they needed anyway though. Those quick passes into the middle will be a problem all year with the current LB corp (just like last year). But the Falcons scoring that many points using the run is inexcusable. The tackling was terrible. The run fits were a joke. The dline, despite keeping 11 on the roster, sucked. The linebackers, despite keeping the "vets" over any rookies, sucked. And playing Fisher over Bodden is STUPID.
Kitna, not wanting to be left out, managed to add a number of dumb plays in the 3rd quarter to the film. Raoila started bobbing his head just before every snap again. The blocking by the offensive tackles was amazingly ineffective, despite keeping 4 TEs on the roster to help them. The play calling was suspect at first, and didn't matter later on. No sense of urgency when behind in the late 3rd quarter. No hurry up offense. No help from any of the coordinators (that's offense, defense and special teams). And a head coach that will "fix it" after seeing the film. Well, you were supposed to "fix it" before the season started, and you could always try "fixing it" during the game too, it's not unheard of.
So, the plusses? The RB and WR positions aren't bad. One TE is capable of staying healthy and not bad. The guys on the bench are well rested. That's about it I think. Oh, Jason and Nick are still good kickers. Okay, that's it for the positives.
Can they win the 7 games I predicted they would come away with this season? It won't be easy, since this was one of the 7 games I predicted they'd win. Next week is a very good Favreless GB team. I don't go much for the QB being the bigger half of the team, and I don't think that highly of Favre, so I think that Green Bay is still likely the division dominating team (with the Vikings coming in 2nd) but it is a home game and maybe, just maybe, they'll try harder to tackle after a solid week of getting yelled at by the so far terrible coaching staff.