The Lions' plan in the last game, at Tampa Bay, was to pound the ball and continue pounding it until they wore down the Bucs defense. It didn't work. So maybe it's time to go the other way this week, playing at home against the Ravens. Instead of playing the ultra conservative style in both the passing and running game, perhaps it's time for the Lions to rev up the passing game, throw the ball deeper and more often and take their chances. The conservative style hasn't worked.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Lions FB Paul Smith vs. Ravens MLB Ray Lewis. With FB Cory Schlesinger still recovering from a broken left fibula, Smith has the lead blocking responsibility. Although he's fearless, he doesn't have the size or skill to open holes the way Schlesinger does for RB Kevin Jones.
Lions WR Mike Williams vs. Ravens RCB Samari Rolle. Williams, a rookie, is getting more and more plays in the Lions offense. He relies on his size (6-5, 235) but will be playing against Rolle, a relatively tall CB at 6-0.
Lions RCB Dre' Bly vs. Ravens WR Derrick Mason. Mason has 21 catches in the Ravens' first three games but will probably be working most of the afternoon against Bly, the Lions'top cover corner.
With FB Cory Schlesinger not expected to play Sunday against Baltimore, backup RB/FB Paul Smith is expected to play the lead blocker role in the Lions' offense.
Linebacker Alex Lewis (ankle) is practicing on a limited basis but probably won't know if he'll be able to play until later in the week.
CB Andre Goodman (ankle) did not practice Wednesday; if he cannot play Sunday against Baltimore, it appears likely R.W. McQuarters will get the starting assignment.
DE James Hall, who missed most of the 17-13 loss at Tampa Bay, did not practice again Wednesday because of a strained groin muscle. If he can't play, the hole will be filled by Kalimba Edwards and Jared DeVries.