RoarReport.com publisher Nate Caminata will provide the in-game blog of Detroit's exhibition contest against Indianapolis from the confines of his house, surrounded by his roommate, beer, and bad pizza.
Game time: 7:00 p.m.
7:05 p.m. FOX Sports has decided that watching the last few minutes of the Red Sox drubbing Chicago is more important than a preseason game. It's 14-2, and Coco Crisp just let a ball sail over his head, just to irritate Lions' fans (and people attempting to write live game blogs) that much more.
(Twenty-minutes of commercials, various FOX Sports logos and plugs later ...)
A FEW MINUTES INTO THE FIRST QUARTER
7:11 p.m. Lions forced a turnover on Colts' first series. Paris Lenon stripped rookie Anthony Gonzales. This is looking good already ... if the Lions go 3-0 in the pre-season, and beat the defending Super Bowl pre-Colts on the road, some street near Ford Field should be named after Matt Millen.
7:15 p.m. Worst call of the night (four minutes into the game -- welcome to the preseason): Tatum Bell slapping ball into turf, and was walking back to the huddle while the officials ruled it a fumble. The Colts scrambled for the football as though Rex Grossman was somewhere on the field
7:16 p.m. Colts fans boo the overturn. (Note to Indy fan: You have a Super Bowl banner hovering just above a meaningless football game. Thank God -- and Rex Grossman -- before chastising the zebras.
7:18 p.m. I'm hoping for another opportunity to dump on Grossman.
7:19 p.m. Tatum Bell goes down with an injury. Somewhere, Lions fans are crying. Kevin Jones is smiling.
(Update: Injury has been described by the FOX affiliate's version of Jay Glazer as that of the 'leg nature.' Thank God for home team commentators Frank Beckmann and Erik Kramer and the guy on the field whose name no one can remember.)
(Note: Who else misses perhaps the greatest sideline reporter in the last decade, Monday Night Football's own Melissa Stark? What a coincidence that MNF's ratings dropped when the "rich woman's Meg Ryan" opted for family life. We miss you, Melissa.)
7:21 p.m. Erik Kramer is serving as the color commentator and just made the colorful comment, "(Bell's) ankle isn't meant to turn that way." My roommate Eric just asked for further explanation about ankle-turning, because he didn't know if Kramer was being narcissistic or serious. This led to an impromptu convo about how Rodney Peete (Best Damn SS), 15 years later, finally ended up with a better job than Kramer. I think Peete was preparing for that job the entire time, hence why he would smile after EVERY interception (that is a lot of smiles). Somewhere Andre Ware is crying.
7:26 p.m. Dewayne White broke into the backfield and made a nice tackle on Joseph Addai. If White is as good as advertised, James Hall won't be missed. But the fact that the Lions have around $50 million in cap room invested in the defensive end position (I know, I know ...) surpasses confusing and jumps straight to Requiem For A Dream-style madness.
7:28 p.m. Manning is 7-of-7 for 68 yards. And now he just upped those stats a bit by hooking up with Reggie Wayne. "He isn't human," said my roommate. "I know," I said, "I just don't know what that makes Rex Grossman."
7:32 p.m. Manning finally threw an incompletion, yet it still looked more impressive than most other throws made by "human" quarterbacks.
7:36 p.m. Marvin Harrison and Manning hook-up for a touchdown reception (7-0). Easily one of the top combinations of All-Time. Speaking of top combinations, whenever the great combos of history are mentioned, people leave out Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones from Field of Dreams. That scene when Terrance Mann (Jones) steps in front of Costner's circa-60's flower wagon and mutters "Go The Distance" was freaking priceless.
Kramer demonstrates his math skills by telling of the 106 touchdown connections between the Manning and Harrison. For the record, Stanley Wilson's new nickname is "Toast."
7:38 p.m. The Lions have their first kick-return (Brian Calhoun), and there is no mention of Eddie Drummond. Welcome to the "Detroit Lions" official television network.
SECOND QUARTER (for the sake of simplicity, we're changing the format from actual time to the game-clock)
11:28 Calvin Johnson's 12 yard reception is nixed by a holding penalty, and he looked disappointed. This won't be the last time, CJ.
11:04 Repeat after me, Brian Calhoun: I am not Barry Sanders, I am not Barry Sanders, I am not Barry Sanders ...
9:45 Jason Hanson just booted a 51-yard field goal with room to go. If he ever wants to retire (and it doesn't seem that way), we should have Hanson's right leg surgically removed and attached to whatever kicker the Lions bring in next. By the time he actually hangs them up, the technology should be available.
6:03 For the third-time, Kramer has said it's "another day at the office" for Peyton Manning. My roommate just left on a beer run... shaking his head.
5:27 The green dot on the back of the helmet, which is new this season, was explained -- but still doesn't make any sense.
4:45 Stanley Wilson read Manning and then dropped the possible interception. Even in the preseason, Wilson will still lose sleep. Tough break.
3:40 The Lions have been applying pressure to Manning all day, both from the interior and on the outside. But because it's Manning, he still found a way to throw off his back foot because -- according to Kramer -- he saw the defender had his back turned. Penalty: Lions. Even pre-Manning is a God
2:24 The Colts have been unable to run effectively against the Lions all-day, yet are still within scoring distance while holding a 7-3 lead. That is the difference between a team with potential and a Super Bowl caliber team.
1:55 Manning just lobbed a pass to his tight end for another touchdown, 14-3 Colts. Peyton just "smirked" according to the broadcasters. The Lions first-team defense was "smirked" at, which should serve as a reminder: You're allowed to be cocky when you're that good -- unless your name is Peyton Manning. He doesn't know how to make a smirk look cool or intimidating... but quasi-brother Matt Leinart does.
1:26 Calvin Johnson just made a nice grab on the sideline. No flags.
1:16 One play after Frank Beckmann compared J.T. O'Sullivan to Peyton Manning, Mr. Europa throws an interception. Thanks Frank.
0:45 Daniel Bullocks leaves the game with a knee injury (walked off under own power). Kramer plays the role of "House" with a quick diagnosis of what it may or may not be.
0:08 Another touchdown by Manning with a fade to Reggie Wayne, 21-3. Maybe the concerns about Detroit's defense are legitimate.
End of Half: Roommate just returned with beer. "What did I miss? ..... Oh." Yeah. Oh.
(Note: Avoid purchasing frozen pizzas from the local gas station).
15:00 Middleton returned the opening kick of the half, and proved (just as Calhoun did) that the Lions don't have a replacement for Drummond.
14:01 Troy Walters just dropped a pass, which could have cost him his job. Is there anything more depressing than watching guy who you know won't have a job soon? Like Lloyd Carr. Or Zach Braff?
12:27 Manning and Harrison swapped jerseys with Aaron Moorehead and Jim Sorgi and scored again. 27-3. Extra-point blocked by Claude Harriott. Every down counts.
12:16 Boss Bailey wanted the sideline reporter to tell the audience -- and specifically, his wife -- that he is fine. This must happen frequently. The bad news? Detroit's starting safeties, Daniel Bullocks and Kenoy Kennedy, are both having their knees examined by the team's medical staff.
I guess that answers the question of whether or not the Lions secondary can possibly get any worse.
8:33 Teddy Lehman is on the field, and has been in on several plays. It's great to see him finally play
8:07 Keith Smith stayed step-for-step with Moorehead and almost had his second interception of the meaningless preseason.
Smith has been impressive in both training camp, practice and game situations. Why he hasn't replaced Wilson or Bryant is anyone's guess ... to which my roommate just reminded me, "There's probably a reason the coaches have the job they do, and why you're typing an internet blog covering a pointless game."
"You're right, but Matt Millen made the hire," I responded.
"Can we turn the channel yet?"
7:35 Frank Beckmann just said "Alpha Dog" to refer to the Lions' running back session. Thanks, Justin Timberlake, for single-handedly ruining a phrase (and the invention of the word 'Lovestoned' doesn't make up for it).
6:30 After a couple of terrible throws during this series (and his Manning-esque interception in the first half), J.T. O'Sullivan is wondering when the coaches will finally pull him ... along with Dan Orlovsky and the entire viewing audience.
5:50 ... probably right after his second interception of the day, which just happened.
O'Sullivan's numbers: 12-20, 125 yards, 2 INTs. Thank God Phil Horvath was signed a few days ago. Yep, Phil Horvath.
5:05 Langston Moore records the team's second sack of the quarter, and third of the game.
3:44 5-0 ALERT! Ikaika Alama-Francis just sacked Sorgi on the next play. It is the rookie's first of the meaningless preseason. Good defensive series by Detroit.
3:16 The Lions keep O'Sullivan in the game, for what I'm assuming is pure humor.
End of quarter stats:
First downs: Indy 21, Det 8
Total yards: Indy 304, Det 166
Time of possession: Indy 26:50, Det 18:50
13:18 At my roommates request, we're channel surfing through DirectTV's alternatives. They are: Yakees @ Tigers, America's Got Talent, The Cat in the Hat, and the Banger Sisters are on WE. I just scanned through entire channels I didn't even know existed. Like WE.
12:15 Aveion Cason fumbled the ball and was slow to come up, yet Kramer hasn't (yet) added, "Insult to injury." (We'll give him time)
(Note: The Lions have been beaten up this game, both physically and on the scoreboard. Bullocks, Kennedy, Bailey, Bell and Cason are just a few of the players who have visited the team's medical staff.)
11:34 Craphonso Thorpe, whose name was the only interesting part of his brief stint in Detroit earlier this year, just burned the Lions secondary twice, culminating in a five-yard touchdown catch from Sorgi. 34-3.
The Lions defense hadn't given up a touchdown the entire preseason. Today? Five.
7:46 The game is crawling toward a snail pace, forcing my roommate to assume control of the television. I can't blame him, especially considering an overview of this game could have been written at half-time.
The Lions were thoroughly outplayed and also outcoached by the Colts. Unfortunately, without Kitna and Detroit's complete first-team offense on the field, it's difficult to gauge how the team might have faired should the contest have mattered.
While it's true that exhibition games are meaningless in terms of the final score, the Lions should hope that the injuries suffered during the game -- especially those in the secondary -- are not long-term.
The team's next preseason contest is against Buffalo on Thursday.
(POST NOTE: J.T. O'Sullivan redeemed himself slightly by hooking up with Troy Walters on a nine-yard touchdown completion with under a minute to play in regulation. 37-10. O'Sullivan finished 24-of-34 for 232 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was the only Lions quarterback that took a snap during the contest).