I don't care whether it's Mathew Stafford or Daunte Culpepper. I sense a big game from the Steelers pass rush on this one. Stafford has been sacked 10 times already, mostly because he's a rookie and he's adjusting to the speed of the game. Culpepper was sacked 14 times last year in 5 games with the Lions, 21 times in 7 games with the Oakland Raiders (2007) and 21 times in 4 games with the Miami Dolphins (2006). Last time we faced him in fact was at home for the opening kickoff game of the 2006 NFL season when Culpepper was the Dolphin's QB.
As a quarterback, he's a bit of a big loaf and doesn't move around well when the pocket breaks down. I'm not sure what kind of offensive line the Lions have. I don't have access to footage, but since the team's running and passing games are both pretty average, we can assume the same about the line.
I would like to have Polamalu back just for the confusion factor he brings into a game, which helps sacks stats for the boys in the trenches, but I think we can handle this game without Troy.
This is the time for the defense to feast. Last week against the Chargers, our offense was able to build both momentum and confidence. This game could do the same for our rushing-the-passer approach that has gotten to the quarterback only 8 times in four games. We may rack four or five in this one if our coverage is good down field. I do suspect that once Troy is back in the lineup, our sacks will go way up. But if we can bring down whatever QB we face tomorrow at least four or five times, it will help bring this defense back to the kind of play we all love.