Regular Season Week 1: 5 Players Who Impressed and 5 Who Did Not

Back by popular demand, I continue my series of five players who impressed and five who did not.

5 Who Impressed:

1. Detroit Lions Safeties: The Lions defense played very well all game long, lead by the turnovers caused by the safeties. Glover Quin, Tavon Wilson, and Miles Killebrew all had an interception. 

2. K Matt Prater: The only word to describe Prater’s performance would be dominant. Prater kicked another long field goal at the end of a half. 58-yards this time. He added three extra points as well– all with a backup holder.

Prater had to take over punting duties after Redfern had to leave the game with an injury. While Prater held his own, he averaged about 32-yards per punt. He also  pinned the Cardinals within the 10-yard line once.

3. QB Matthew Stafford: The star of the show and the leader of this team. Stafford shined once again leading his team to a fourth quarter comeback. 

After his first throw of the season was a pick six, Stafford came back on and never looked back. Stafford finished this game going 29/41 for 292 yards, four TDs and one interception. 

To throw four touchdowns against a team that lead the NFL in sacks last year and has two Pro Bowl defensive backs, is no easy task. It demonstrated he can overcome mistakes and obstacles.

4. DT AShawn Robinson:  Robinson forced  a fumble that lead to a score. He also played very soild run defense all game long. 

Robinson is a guy teams need to plan for. He can make plays in the pass game with his pass rush and batting balls ability. His stats dont really stand out in this game but he made quite a few plays.

5. WR Golden Tate: Tate lead the Lions in yards(107) and catches (10). I wrote before the game that Tate needed to get off to a fast start on the year and he did just that.  

Tate hurt his ring finger on his left hand during the game, he was able to battle though it and is not expected to miss any time.

This was a very hard choice to select just five players that impressed me. I have not done honorable mentions in the past but I really feel like more then five stood out in this game. I felt bad leaving both Kenny Golladay, and Greg Robinson off this list. So heres a breif break down of these honorable mentions.

WR Kenny Golladay: Golladay was on my five people who have work to do list most of this game but boy did he come on in the 4th. Golladay dropped a couple catchable passes before his two touchdown catches.

OT Greg Robinson: Robinson did a wonderful job protecting Stafford’s blind side. Stafford was only sacked once this game and it will get credited to Robinson, however it was a coverage sack and Robinson protected Stafford for a full 5-6 seconds on the play. Playing the NFL’s best sacking team last year this is a huge showing for the tackle.

5 Who Did Not:

1. LB Jarrad Davis : Few missed tackles, few missed coverage but did recover a fumble. Cost his team 15 yards on a personal foul penalty as well. Had a pass interference in the endzone giving the Cardinals a free first down on the 1-yard line.

2. RB/KR Dwayne Washington: On his first attempt, he took the ball out of endzone and was downed at the 14– cost the Lions 11 yards. He followed it up by attempting another after the ball bounced around in the end zone. He could only get to the 6 and cost the Lions 19-yards. In these two kick returns alone, Washington cost the Lions 30-yards.

3. Lions Pass Rush: The Lions did not fail at applying pressure on Palmer, however they did fail to finish the play and sack him. Only one sack this game courtesy of Anthony Zettel. Palmer is not a mobile QB and he easily avoided most of the pass rush.

4. P Kasey Redfern: Redfern had a great preseason but crumbled under the regular season pressure. After not catching the snap, Redfern ran the ball (even after having an opening to punt the ball away) and got tackled out of bounds, hurting himself. He did have the second longest run of the day after a gain of 10-yards.

5. Lions Run Game: The run game was terrible. Stafford and P Redfern had the two longest runs for the day. The Lions did not have even 90 yards combine on the ground.

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