Detroit Sports

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Kitna Factor

The Detroit Lions are three weeks into the season and their record is a respectable 2-1. Both of their wins were against sub par teams but they got the job done at the end, which is more than what we could say about this team in previous years. A big reason why the Lions have enjoyed mild success this year is because of their quarterback Jon Kitna. He has been the leader of this football team thus far. Many remember when he had a concussion in week two against the Vikings, only to come back late in the game to help lead them to victory. He also lead them from behind in week one against the Raiders.

Kitna's stats have been awesome so far for a 35 year old quarterback. He has thrown for 980 yards and seven (six passing, one rushing) touchdowns in three games. His quarterback rating is 97.8, compared to just 79.9 all of last season. If he keeps up his 68.5 completion percentage, it will be the highest complete percentage of his career.

Although Kitna's numbers are high, he and the team need to greatly improve in some areas. First, let us start off with Kitna. He has had good numbers as previously stated but has thrown four interceptions already. This has been a problem throughout his entire career, with his career interceptions and touchdowns almost equaling one another. He must keep getting the ball to his receivers, but he desperately needs to cut back on the turnovers if they want to have continued passing success on offense.

Another thing the Lions must improve upon is their defense. They looked alright in the first two weeks, especially against Minnesota, but they were smacked around by the Eagles during week three. They gave up 56 points, 42 of which came in the first half. The Eagles were able to rack up 536 total yards against the Lions. The Lions pass defense seem to be the major weak point of this defense, giving up 886 yards passing in three games. If they can shutdown the passing lanes and continue to stop the run decently, they will dramatically help out their offense.

A final thing they must improve upon is their rushing attack. Their numbers are very low in this area. The main reason they do not have a strong rushing attack is because they do not have a true number one back. Tatum Bell looked good in week one but has failed to produce in the last two weeks. He rushed for over 1000 yards with the Broncos but that was mostly because he was part of that great Denver rushing system. He must prove himself in Detroit where the offensive line is much weaker.

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