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Old 09-18-2004   #18
SDBoltz
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Default This is from the San Diego Union Tribune

HOUSTON (0-1) @ DETROIT (1-0)
Heading in: A 2-0 start would give a young Lions team confidence, but the Texans were a few fumbles away from a win last week. It's the first ever David Carr-Joey Harrington matchup: we may find out who's closer to the playoffs.
Key for the Texans: Avoid turnovers. Domanick Davis fumbled twice last week, and pinball-style fumbles and interceptions made life easier for the Chargers. This is a potentially formidable offense, but it cannot overcome it's own mistakes.
Key for the Lions: Convert on third downs. Their 2-of-14 performance last week was good enough to hold off an offense like Chicago's, but the Texans will outgun you if they get that many opportunities. The Lions had some 3rd-and-4 and 3rd-and-6 situations where they couldn't convert: they have to get better in those situations to take the next step offensively.
Telling stat: The Lions actually ran the ball (30 times) more often than they threw it last week (26). That only happened three times last year, and the Lions won two of those games.
Scouting report: Texans OLBs Jason Babin and Kailee Wong didn't generate much pass rush against the Chargers, but Babin did distinguish himself with several open field tackles on LaDainian Tomlinson. Babin has good size and can shed blockers on run defense but lacks great pass rush moves at this point. As for Wong, he had a hustle sack but was usually seen wired to his blocker and was often picked up one-on-one by a fullback. Pressure from the ends is a key to the Texans defense; Wong and Babin must become more productive.
Forecast: They may be on the rise, but both teams are still weaklings right now. Take the home team unless you have a better idea. Lions by four.
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