The Detroit Lions lost to the Washington Redskins on Thursday night by a score of 21-17. Here's a look at some "winners" and "losers" from the game:
Dan Orlovsky - Orlovsky outperformed Kellen Moore last week, and that continued this week with Orlovsky back in the No. 2 quarterback role. Orlovsky went 13-for-17 for 118 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins, and he pretty clearly should be the backup going forward. (In fact, I would argue that he should be the only quarterback other than Matthew Stafford on the 53-man roster.)
Zach Zenner - Zenner also followed up a strong performance last week with another good outing. This week, he ran the ball four times for 22 yards and caught five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. If it's based strictly on offensive production, Zenner should easily make the team over George Winn. Chances are special teams will be a factor, and that could swing things in Winn's favor, but Zenner sure seems to be playing his way onto the roster.
Jeremy Ross - Ross didn't show much as a returner, but he looked pretty good as a wide receiver, finishing with four catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. In addition, nobody else really did anything on kick and punt returns, so Ross' spot on the roster is probably pretty safe right now.
Phillip Hunt - With Larry Webster looking more and more like practice-squad material, there could be a roster spot up for grabs at defensive end. If Thursday night was any indication, Hunt may be one of the favorites for the final spot at defensive end, as he recorded two tackles and nearly strip-sacked Robert Griffin III. He looked really quick rushing off the edge.
Tyrunn Walker - Walker was absolutely dominant on Thursday night, and he showed why the Lions' move to sign him was so highly regarded this past offseason. He absolutely abused Brandon Scherff on one play, leading to this memorable GIF:
halp pic.twitter.com/Sz8zx2AlN4— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) August 20, 2015
Ryan Broyles - Broyles did pretty well with three catches on three targets for 31 yards. However, he's in the "losers" category because he barely saw any real playing time until late in the game. He performed when he got a chance, but this is an ominous sign:
Jim Caldwell, on Ryan Broyles not playing much until late: "Coach's decision."— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 21, 2015
I'd be pretty surprised if Broyles makes the team at this point, but that could actually turn out to be a good thing if he gets an opportunity elsewhere, because it sure doesn't seem like it's going to happen in Detroit.
The second- and third-stringers on defense - The Lions' first-team defense and their top backups were pretty dominant, but it was a completely different story once the second- and third-stringers entered the game. Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins really carved up the defense, and the Lions also struggled to stop Washington's run game. It was a really disappointing night for the backups.
Kyle Van Noy - On a related note, I just don't see it with Van Noy. He was really, really bad on Thursday night, and he was potentially at the center of a couple of coverage busts that led to Washington touchdowns. I know he's only in his second year in the NFL, and he didn't have a full rookie year, but his play was noticeably bad.
The Lions' injury situation - The Lions emerged out of their first preseason game with only one notable injury (to reserve offensive lineman Darren Keyton), but they didn't have such good luck on Thursday. Larry Warford and Caraun Reid both left the game with ankle injuries, and Kevin Snyder and Jordan Thompson got hurt as well. The Warford and Reid injuries in particular are quite concerning given how good Warford can be and how limited the depth is at defensive tackle.