The Lions played a game on Thursday. That's all you can really say about it. After the first teamers left the field, the Lions pretty much stumbled through the rest of the game and lost 30-14 to the Cincinnati Bengals. As with any game, there were some good things and bad things. Here's the good, the bad and the ugly that stood out to me in the Lions second preseason game of 2016.
No huddle works
It's as if the Lions front office listen to the fans shouting from the mountain tops in 2015. The Lions are better in an up-tempo offense. Thursday's game showed that. While the Lions first string did not score any touchdowns, they moved down the field with relative ease throughout the first and second quarters with Matthew Stafford going 8-11 for 113 yards. This is going to be the gist of the the Lions offense all season and as you can see, it has the potential to work really well.
Marvin is legit
Or at least he's legit in the preseason. Jones has wasted no time showing what he's capable of doing in Detroit over the last two weeks. Jones finished the day with four receptions for 65 yards. Two of those catches came in spectacular form.
.@MarvinJonesJr is going to fit in just fine with these @Lions! #CINvsDET https://t.co/3611yHEhXE— NFL (@NFL) August 18, 2016
More than anything, Jones showed Thursday night that he can be the deep threat that many doubted he could be. Golden Tate and Jones are really looking like a 1A and 1B right now. This is cause for excitement.
Stop running Riddick
I understand that Ameer Abdullah is out right now. I also understand that the Lions are going to have a lot easier of a time with Abdullah than any other running back on the roster. But for some reason the Lions are the only ones that don't understand that Riddick is not a great running back. You could argue he's not a running back at all. One can only hope the Lions do not decide to use Riddick in the run game in 2016. His game is built for a receiving role. Notre Dame knew that, I know that, you know that. But the Lions can't figure it out. 17 yards on seven carries should help with that.
Offensive line looks weak
Taylor Decker allows an easy TFL https://t.co/zbR4HtKGh1— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 18, 2016
You can see in the vine above that Lions first-round pick Taylor Decker needs some more work before he takes over the most important position on the line. What I saw on Thursday was a team that couldn't get the run game going. Yes, that was partly because of Riddck. But it was also because the holes weren't opening up. Despite Stafford looking good Thursday, you have to wonder how much better he could have looked if he can just get that elusive balanced offense.
It wasn't all on the offensive line starters. Rookie Cole Wick whiffed so hard on a play that got Stafford sacked. You would have thought he was trying to guard Allen Iverson in his prime. This brings me to my next point.
Lions are in desperate need of tight end help
Last week I was sure Cole Wick would make this roster and have a nice impact. This week I'm not so sure. The rookie looked bad on the aforementioned play and found himself lost on a couple other throughout his day. Then when Matthew Mulligan got his shot with the first team, he was immediately called for a false start. Andrew Quarless who signed earlier in the week to much controversy, didn't see the field and I'm one of the guys who's not sure he makes the 53. Like it or not, the Lions need Eric Ebron back before Week 1, or they'll be in even more trouble.
Defense looked out of sorts at times
By "at times," I mean for most of the game. The Bengals first drive of the game couldn't have gone any worse, and the Lions allowed the Bengals to march down field in what felt like a couple of minutes. Once the second team came in for the Bengals, nothing changed. The Bengals rattled off 20 points before the end of the first half (though seven came on a Dan Orlovsky pick-six). I know it's preseason football and everything is vanilla, but the Lions showed a real cause for concern on the defensive side of the ball. But....
There were some good things too
Darius Slay, Ezekiel Ansah and especially Tahir Whitehead came to play Thursday night. It seemed as though Whitehead was wherever the ball was at all times. Made some great plays including a big stop on third-and-short in the first quarter. Whitehead showed the Lions linebacking issues may not be as bad as they seem.
Slay and Ansah didn't do a great amount of things, but they did just about everything you would hope for. Ansah showed his usual speed and ability when getting after the quarterback. And Slay made up for an early gaffe with a big deflection on a third down. You expect to see these guys play well. It was nice to see it happen.
Dan Orlovsky is terrible
A regular terrible doesn't cut it. Charles, please help me out and explain that Orlovsky interception.
Watching Dan Orlovsky is like going to the casino and playing blackjack with no knowledge of what a playing card is. You know it's going to be bad, you're just not sure until two seconds before it happens. For Lions fans, that was the Orlovsky interception that appeared to be happening in slow motion. It was as if it was coordinated. It's easy to notice that Dan sees these things, but still tries to make it happen.
The Lions need to get serious about looking for a new back up in the next couple weeks. That seems like an overstatement at this point. But the Lions are in for dumpster fire if Stafford misses any time. Unfortunately for the dreamers, Jake Rudock isn't the answer to that problem.
Speaking of Rudock
The golden boy looked more like Kellen Moore 2.0 than ever before. After hitting Orson Charles with a bullet that got my attention in a good way, I couldn't even get out the thought that he might be alright before he threw a pick on the next play. Do yourself a favor and try not to get attached to Rudock as a legitimate option this year. Or continue living in unicorn land, I can't tell you what to do.
At the end of the day, this was one of those games that make you yearn for the regular season. Because at least if the Lions lose this badly, then it means something. With the "dress rehearsal game" coming up next week, the Lions really need to look better or it will be hard to go into the season with a ton of faith, regardless of whether this is preseason or not.
What do you think Lions fans? What are your thoughts on the game? Good and bad, what stood out to you? Be sure to leave your comments below or come chat with me on Twitter @POD_Payton.