Easily overlooked in another excruciatingly painful Lions loss, was a very important development. The Lions faced one of the top passing attacks in the entire league, and while they did give up some wide open passes here and there, much of the time the secondary had decent coverage. The Lions actually picked Aaron Rodgers off 3 times, If not for a weak offsides call on Turk McBride that wiped out a beautiful interception by the quickly emerging Chris Houston, but still manages 2 legitimate picks.
The few times that the Lions gave up some ugly wide-open catches, Donald Drivers game opening TD comes to mind, it looks like Jonathon Wade was out of position. Wade did not have a good game, and there is where the very important development in the Lions future happened.
Alphonso Smith has emerged as a legit NFL CB, and boy is he going to mean a lot to this team. Mayhew took a flyer on the very talented young CB, whom the Lions coaches had very high draft grades on back in 2009, via trade with the Denver Broncos around roster cut time for Tight end Dan Gronkowski. Smith had a nice interception in Minnesota last week, and followed it up with another great interception late in the 2nd half of the Green Bay game.
I was calling for Smith to be promoted to starting CB early in this game, and the Lions saw the same thing. With Chris Houston playing well thus far, and an emerging young talented Alphonso Smith, the Lions might find themselves with some playmakers at corner back. If the secondary can play together better and Smith gets inserted into the starting line-up, as coach Jim Schwartz eluded to in his post game conference, this is by far the biggest pleasant surprise an 0-4 team can get.
I have watched every snap of this season closely and Smith has played well as the primary nickel corner back. The defense is improving, and if you take away really bad turnovers by the special teams and offense, they only allowed 14 points to the packers, and 17 to the Vikings.
If Chris Houston and Alphonso Smith keep playing well and improving, the defense can really start to improve. The emergence of Alphonso Smith is easily overlooked, but I know this team well, and was just hoping that Smith would take to this defense and coaching staff and step-up, and its looking like he has. The defensive line is good, and against lesser Quarterbacks, the Lions will get their share of sacks. If the Lions somehow find a way to have 2 young talented players at the corners blanketing receivers, the defense can take a leap.
The Lions gained another starting NFL CB today in Green Bay, and there is nothing more important than that to this teams future.