The Detroit Lions came away with a loss after playing the Oakland Raiders Friday night. Here are some of my thoughts after watching the game.
The game meant absolutely nothing. Nothing, that is, unless you were one of the roughly 85 people on either team fighting for your NFL future. Or the 53,000-plus fans in attendance at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Friday night. Or either of the two new head coaches. Or their staffs. Or the fans watching on TV. Or…you get the idea.
It’s easy to overreact to a game that actually counts during the regular season. To get too excited about anything that happens in a preseason game is silly. Having said that, there are some things that I noticed while watching the game that I wanted to share. Just pretend we are sitting around a table and having a beer talking about the game. If you have something to add, just hit me up on Twitter @smoke25 and we’ll chat!
Plenty of guys do a great job of breaking down individual players and roles so I am not going to do that here today. This is just a little overview between friends.
First—and this is in no particular order—Brandon Powell is fun to watch. He may not make the final 53, but he looks fast, elusive, and really has some great hands.
— Coach Bronx (@Mrdavon87) August 11, 2018
Ameer Abdullah also looks quick and decisive. Don’t take this like a contradiction but it also looks like he is following his blockers better in traffic than I have seen before.
#Lions Touchdown!! RB Abdullah continuing where he left off last year within the opponents 10-yard line (4 TDs on 8 att last season)
— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) August 11, 2018
I love listening to Chris Spielman call a game. It’s not just that knows his stuff, but he is not afraid to single out anyone—good or bad—and explain why. And, “…I don’t know! It’s kickers! They’re on a different planet!…?”
I’m not sure why the successful challenge by Matt Patricia was allowed after the next play was run with 8:10 left in the 4th quarter. There was a flag on that subsequent play. Maybe the Raiders snapped the ball before the refs said it was ok? Nope. Listened again and it was a false start with a lineman going from a 2-point to a 3-point stance. Apparently, on a penalty, a challenge from the previous play can be made. Who knew?
The Lions seemed to be vulnerable to edge rushes throughout the night, especially around the right side of the D line. Some were called back for penalties but consistently it appeared to be a weakness. I am going to chalk that one up to no game plan or scheme in a first preseason game. If that continues to happen, it will be an area worth watching.
Tracy Walker looked okay. Maybe a little hesitant at times and guessed wrong on some attack angles but also had a few times where he really looked like what he was doing. Not out of character for a third round rookie.
John Gruden still remembers how to swear at the officials on the sidelines.
Chris Lacy needs to learn to catch a football.
Jeremiah Ledbetter played a lot and was consistently pretty darn good.
Our kickoff coverage was uninspiring.
The two quarterbacks fighting for the backup role look like 90% of Lion’s signal callers from 1960 until about 2008.
Dirt does not make a great football field. Baseball can keep it.
Did I mention that Spielman is fun to listen to?
If you have the opportunity, subscribe to NFL Game Pass. It’s worth it. No, I don’t get a cut for plugging it but I am always open to the idea!
Finally, Sirius XM NFL Radio will air the Detroit Lions stop on their 2018 Training Camp Tour from 12 – 3 PM on Wednesday, August 15th. Alex Marvez and the timeless Gil Brandt are scheduled to host. You will need a subscription to listen to live or recorded online.
So here you have it. It was a sloppy game but what first preseason game isn’t? It was Detroit Lions football, and that’s what matters! And even though it did not count in any standings, to a great many people, it did mean a lot! Now, bring on the New York Giants!
Follow Lion Lowdown on Twitter @LionLowdown or Bruce Walker @Smoke25