It's finally over! Sort of. The Lions have one more preseason game to play, but it's all said and done for the Lions first team offense and defense. And it wasn't pretty at all, with the Lions losing Saturday night to Baltimore, 30-9. Continuing with my "What just happened" series, let's relive the debacle that was the dress rehearsal game. Here's what stood out to me:
I'm not just talking about this game. The Lions first-team offense somehow managed to go through the entire preseason without scoring a single touchdown. That's a major concern and you can bet that's going to have every Lions fan shaking in their collective Honolulu Blue boots going into the regular season. Could the loss of Calvin Johnson really be this big of a problem for the Lions? I don't think it will be, but man am I concerned. The Lions have two weeks to correct this.
Can anyone figure out just what the heck happened on this drive? As usual, the Lions were driving down field with ease in search of a wall to hit, when they decided to back up and hit it a few more times. The offensive line is definitely to blame here. Riley Reiff cost the Lions 15 yards after he decided to save Matthew Stafford from a dog pile and Larry Warford jumped in on the next play to set the Lions back five more yards. Toss in Laken Tomlinson jumping into a pile earlier in the drive, a timeout, a clock reset and a missed field goal and it was like watching The Three Stooges vs Abbot and Costello.
The Lions first-team offense looked this way all night. Their first drive was over in a flash and all following drives had the look of the 2012 Detroit Lions. Just nothing got on track with the offense the entire night. It's really the synopsis of the entire preseason. Moving fast and great and then just stalling out. Kind of like an old Ford Escort GT I had in high school. It was awesome for the three days I had it, then it broke down and never drove again. Hopefully the Lions can get it to turn over again.
Ameer looked alright
We've been waiting for Ameer Abdullah to take the field all preseason. While he only rushed for 16 yards on four carries, it was a good-looking 16 yards. Abdullah showed that the Lions could have some semblance of a run game in 2016. His big run that saw him truck Jimmy Smith in the first quarter is the play that really showed what he can do in-between the tackles. He even managed to hurdle a downed player as well. Keep doing stuff like that, Ameer.
Marvin Jones: Potentially money
It is "just the preseason." And many people made sure to remind me of that on Saturday night, but Marvin Jones may be the new fun thing to watch in Detroit. All three of his receptions were just pretty.
Another Marvin Jones sideline catch https://t.co/0SwWTF9Q9G— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 27, 2016
Especially that one. The talk all offseason has been that Golden Tate is likely the number one receiver, but Marvin Jones is starting to look like a clear cut favorite for Matthew Stafford. Still, I think it just has to be a 1A and 1B situation.
Defense looks butter
No, that's not a typo. The Ravens were cutting through the Lions offense like butter all night. Despite the Lions bending, but not breaking against the Ravens first team offense, they still allowed this not-so-great offense to walk all over them in route to the red zone on each drive.
Perhaps it was the Lions defense against the run game that scared me the most. The Lions have allowed many a running back to look like Pro Bowlers thus far. Justin Forsett was this week's recipient of the shaky defense to work around. This must be fixed post haste!
Moments of good stuff
There were some good moments in this game just as there have been throughout the preseason. Travis Swanson showed some stuff in later drives, the aforementioned Jones looked great and Theo Riddick actually looked decent on a few carries, which is not usually his strong suit.
With so many bad things happening, it's hard to find the good things, but they were there, I promise. Even Dwayne "The Rock" Washington got in some nice looking returns. Matt Prater is still legit as long as Jimmy Landes isn't snapping the ball. Good things.
Jimmy is done
Anyone who knows me, know that I'm team Donny all the way. It looks as though that will continue in 2016 as Jimmy Landes had a really bad game. Short snaps caused bad looking field goals and in one case, caused a miss by the usually default Matt Prater. Drafting a long snapper is suddenly going from a smart pick for the future to a really bad pick in the present. Let's hope Muhlbach plays till he's 73.
Stop the preseason!
Or at least shorten it up. The Lions managed to get out of Baltimore without losing any key players, but the Ravens tight end Ben Watson went down with a torn Achilles on the Ravens first play on offense; his season is gone now. You never want to see any player get hurt, so maybe putting these players in this position should not be a thing anymore. I personally would love to see the NFL treat preseason like WWE treats NXT: just for developmental purposes. Imagine the excitement of watching a bunch of guys fighting for a finite amount of roster spots. Sounds like fun to me.
Where's your faith right now?
Look, I know it's just preseason and this doesn't mean much when it comes to the regular season, but the Lions did nothing the last three weeks that would make any fan believe that good things are coming in an abundance. With just two weeks away, all Lions fans have to go on is an offense that didn't score a single touchdown and a leaky defense that gave up chunks of yards to opposing first-team offenses.
Although the last time Lions fans pre-judged a regular season based on the preseason, they got pretty embarrassed when the Lions didn't win a game until the year after. So maybe things will turn out to be just fine, maybe it's a train wreck in the making; all I know is I'm feeling a bit verklempt.
What do you think Lions fans? Are you worried or are you still flying high on belief? What stood out to you in this game? Be sure to leave your comments below or come chat with me on Twitter @POD_Payton.