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Detroit Lions stock report: Flag on the play

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The refs didn’t help, but the Detroit Lions managed to pull out a defeat despite having plenty of opportunities to put the game out of reach.

Tennessee Titans v Detroit Lions Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions pulled out an exciting come-from-behind victory last week against the Colts, but they managed to dominate only one half of football against the Titans while only scoring 12 points. In the second half, the team fell apart and never overcame the penalties or injuries, leading to their first loss of the season in a poorly officiated mess. This was a difficult game to run a stock report on since there was so much inconsistent play, but as always, we’re going to give it a go.

Stock Up: Devin Taylor, DE

When Ziggy Ansah went down with an apparent ankle injury early in the game, it was suspected that the pass rush would suffer. Instead, we saw Devin Taylor put on what may have been the best game of his career. Former Spartan Jack Conklin was Taylor’s whipping boy, with Taylor beating him for a sack and a half—including a safety to start the scoring for Detroit. If Ansah is down for any length of time, this team is going to be in trouble, but it’s comforting to know that when you expect a veteran pass rusher to abuse his opponent, he does so in spades.

Stock Down: Anquan Boldin, WR

Known for his sticky hands through his long, storied career, Anquan Boldin caught the only touchdown pass Matthew Stafford threw that wasn’t wiped out by penalty. Unfortunately, he also dropped not one, but a pair of passes. Reliability from a third receiver is more important than play making ability and there are only so many dropped passes before the throws start to go in different directions.

Stock Up: Kerry Hyder, DE

The first time Hyder’s name was mentioned was in a sack he shared with Devin Taylor. I found it somewhat silly that Hyder was being talked about as the creator of that particular play, when he mainly just cleaned up the damage Taylor had done, but novelty value aside, Hyder had another good game. He only finished the day with a single sack to his name, but he showed up a lot more than what the stat sheet displayed.

Stock Down: Team depth and discipline

When it was known that DeAndre Levy was dealing with an injury, the beat reporters noticed that Brandon Copeland was playing some linebacker during practices. Few took it very seriously at the time because there were other healthy linebackers on the team. Depth at that position isn’t great, but it didn’t become awful until Antwione Williams and Kyle Van Noy went down with injuries against the Titans. Piling on the team, there was also a myriad of penalties the team was hit with from beginning to end. The Eric Ebron penalty in the end zone was a bad call, but the rest of the penalties were correctly called and that’s unacceptable. It was a problem that needs to be cleaned up before they dig themselves into a deeper hole than their injury issues already have.

Quick Hits

Stock Up

Marvin Jones, WR: Jones had some of the best plays of the day, hitting 100 yards for the second time in his career and the first Lions player to do so in 2016.
Theo Riddick, RB: It was another good day for Riddick, who may lead the NFL in yards after the catch this season.
Glover Quin, FS: Pulling in the team’s first interception of the season, Quin kept the team in the game just long enough for them to attempt a comeback.
Taylor Decker, OT: He had a blown play against Brian Orakpo, but the former Buckeye had an otherwise promising second outing as a pro.
Tavon Wilson, SS: Last week wasn’t great for the safeties, but Wilson had a pretty good day. He wasn’t lost in coverage and tackled well.
Thurston Armbrister, LB: In no time at all, Armbrister went from special teamer and bottom level role player to potential starter. It might be a disaster, but it’s an opportunity.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT: Second game, second pass batted at the line. Robinson still isn’t generating much push, but his field awareness looks very good.

Stock Down

Ameer Abdullah, RB: It started to look like a good day for Abdullah, who pulled out the best run of the night. He then went down with injury and it doesn’t look great.
Eric Ebron, TE: In terms of playmaking ability, Ebron followed up his strong showing last week with another one today. Penalties and blocking were a problem, even ignoring the bad OPI call.
Rafael Bush, SS: I have no idea why Teryl Austin likes to put Rafael Bush in coverage, but like last week it didn’t end well.
Nevin Lawson, CB: Penalties and blown coverage, Lawson was brutal against the Titans. He also got out ran by tight end Delanie Walker, which is never a good look.
Laken Tomlinson, OG: Blocking wasn’t an issue for much of the game, outside of one mistake that caused a sack, but he was one of the chief perpetrators of the penalties.
Kyle Van Noy, LB: Levy’s injury offered an opportunity for KVN to shine, but he went down with a non contact injury meaning he never got to take his shot and is now hurt.
Antwione Williams, LB: It was a good sign for Williams that he got to play while Levy was out, though he struggled on the field. Another one that went down to injury, though.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE: Ansah hasn’t had a good start to the season, but he went down with an ankle injury early and never came back on the field.
DeAndre Levy, LB: After playing 100 percent of the snaps against the Colts, Levy never even played against the Titans due to injury. Will he ever play meaningful snaps again? Who knows?
Matthew Stafford, QB: It wasn’t a bad game for Stafford, who had multiple TD passes called back and passes dropped, but it’ll be remembered for the game-killing pick.
Brandon Copeland, DELB: Copeland’s first stint at linebacker since being converted to DE didn’t go well at all. Not a good sign of things to come.
Golden Tate, WR: Tate was down here last week since his role looked very limited in this offense, and while that didn’t change he also threw in a drop to round it out.