The League

Matthew Bonesteel
Dilettante Fan

Matthew Bonesteel

Washington Post Editor and Football Guru

Detroit at Atlanta, Week One

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1 p.m.

A prime Week 1 contender for the Mystery Game of the Week (you know, the game that no one watches because it isn't on at the sports bar when they run out of TVs).
And really, why should anyone watch? The Lions, still reeling under Matt Millen's nimble leadership, and Falcons went a combined 11-21 last season. Atlanta will be starting a rookie quarterback in Matt Ryan, which always is an exercise in Benny Hill-style wackiness, and a running back (Michael Turner) who has one career start and is better known as That Guy You Picked on Your Fantasy Team as Insurance for LDT.
Meanwhile, the Lions jettisoned Mike Martz for a more run-oriented approach, and by that, I mean games in which they run more than six, seven or eight times in a game (as they did in three games last season). But there may be one small problem, one that may have been overlooked amid the usual hubbub of training camp: Namely, that Barry Sanders hasn't come out of retirement.
Third-round draft pick Kevin Smith is expected to start. Rudi Johnson, who received such a warm welcome when his bags were stolen from the team complex this week, still may be recovering from the hamstring injury that cut short his 2007 season. Marcus Thomas, who was the Chargers' only draft pick not to make the roster, also may see carries after getting picked up on Sunday.
Really, with everything going on at the start of the season, who can keep track of such things like a viable running back.

By Matthew Bonesteel  |  September 5, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Week 1 Previews Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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