The Detroit Lions have officially kicked off their 2018 season and finally, have a preseason game in the books. Their first game against the Raiders offered a glimpse into the beginning of the Matt Patricia era as the new head coach of the Lions. In their loss to the Raiders, we were able to learn a few things about this team so far in 2018.
To put it nicely, the pass rush for the Lions is still a work in progress. Outside of Ezekiel Ansah, the best pass rusher on the team, there is very little talent out there for Matt Patricia to work with. Devon Kennard was brought in as the Lions top free agent signing to give Ansah some help, but he is still working his way back from being on the non-football injury list (NFI). Keeping with the defensive side of the ball, the interior defensive line for the Lions also struggled mightily to slow down the Oakland rushing attack. Marshawn Lynch ripped off an impressive long touchdown run that was called back for a holding penalty. Backup running back Chris Warren also had his way with the Lions. He averaged 6.6 yards per carry on 13 carries for a total of 86 yards. Now being it is the only preseason I’d imagine both A’Shawn Robinson and Sylvester Williams will turn in a much better showing in their second game of the preseason.
On a positive note, it would appear the Lions have a stable of running back talent at their disposal. Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson handled the bulk of the carries against the Raiders and he didn’t disappoint. He displayed patience, and excellent vision throughout the game and at first glance appears to be worthy of his draft selection. Veteran LeGarrette Blount proved he still has value by being a bulldozer against opposing defenses, and Ameer Abdullah put on a vintage performance showcasing his quick feet and solid decision making.
As we move to the second week of the preseason we can expect to see an uptick in intensity from the players on the field. We’ll get to see the starters again as they continue to become a more cohesive unit while also watching the depth of the roster begin to take shape as guys battle it out to make a positive impression with the coaching staff. Let’s take a look at three guys we should be keeping our eye on as the Lions prepare to take on the Giants on Friday.
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