After spending the evening covering a high school game, I came home and essentially watched another high school game. The Lions gathered all their young guys and had themselves a game against the Buffalo Bills Thursday night. In a 31-0 win, there were some things that happened. Here are the things that stood out to me the most.
Seriously, where did this guy come from? Perhaps it's the fact that the Lions offense has looked better, or maybe it's because Dwayne Washington is really this good. It's probably a mix of both. In any event, here's a guy that was a sure cut going into camp that managed to turn the tables on that thought.
There's no telling what kind of role Washington will play if and when he makes the roster. But if he keeps doing stuff like this, he'll be a welcome addition.
Good for Kerry Hyder. The defensive tackle/end was probably not a candidate to make the team in 2016. After Thursday's game, he probably still won't, but he will definitely have more teams looking at him than he did on Wednesday. Hyder ended the game with three sacks and had to be the shining star of the defense. Here's hoping Hyder's phone is ringing soon.
Get Jace Billingsley a job
The winner of our 2016 Pride Of Detroit Name Bracket Tournament had a pretty good evening against the Bills. Picking up seven receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown, Jace looks like a kid that must be stashed away on the practice squad if he does not make the 53-man roster. I've liked what I've seen from this kid the last for weeks. Let's hope this isn't the last we've seen of him.
Jay Lee showed up
When the Lions picked up Lee after the draft, he was considered to be Detroit's prize among the UFDA's. Sadly that did not translate into the preseason. On Thursday, we finally got to see what Lee could do with a decent amount of playing time. The rookie racked up six receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Many now believe Lee will make this team after Thursday's game, but I ask you, has he really done enough? I'm not sure he has.
Defense looked like a defense
I know this was the fourth preseason game and little-to-no starters played on either side. But the Lions defense has spent so much time getting cut up in the first three games. It was nice to see them come out and hold the Bills offense to 170 total yards and no scores.
This performance doesn't tell you much about the Lions first-team defense, but it certainly tells you a lot about the depth Lions GM Bob Quinn was hoping to acquire in 2016.
The most fun we've had all preseason
Going back to how bad the Lions have looked in the last three games. After their first-team offense didn't score a single touchdown in the preseason and the defense was getting worked over, Thursday night's game was a blast. It was fun to finally see this team go out and score a ton of points and defend exceptionally well. With the regular season less than two weeks away, you have to wonder if we'll see this type of thing again in 2016. Here's hoping.
Still not wrong about Jake Rudock
I'll say this about Rudock: at least he's better than Kellen Moore and he may have made a case for the Lions to carry three quarterbacks. But despite his 171 yards and three touchdowns, he's still not the second coming of Tom Brady. End this madness.
Did I inadvertently start a Harambe chant?
This is probably a coincidence. Thursday night I was covering a high school football game for the Holland Sentinel. Our local newspaper. During the game, the Holland students began a Harambe chant. I initially thought it was funny. So I tweeted this.
Crowd here is chanting Harambe. Geez.— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) Septembe 2, 2016
This led to some thinking I was at the Lions game and Ford Field began a Harambe chant. Despite me telling everyone I could that I wasn't at the game, the thought of a Harambe chant at Ford Field sort of took off. Finally after telling as many people as I could, Lions fan Kevin D informed me it was happening at Ford Field now.
@POD_Payton nope. Ford field too— Kevin D (@Kevinjdd) September 2, 2016
It was almost definitely a coincidence. Honestly I'm not even 100 percent sure it happened. But in my mind, it did and I'll be taking all the credit for this one.
Let's not get too ahead of ourselves. I believe this Lions team can be good or even playoff caliber. But Thursday's game didn't put me over the edge either way. There's a ton of things this team needs to do in the next week and a half. Resting on the laurels of the fourth preseason game won't be one of them. Let's all cool it and get ready for Week 1 against the Colts.