The Detroit Lions followed up their solid preseason performance against the Colts with a fairly dominant performance over the New York Jets. After jumping out to a 13-0 lead in the first half, the Lions ended up beating the Jets by a final score of 16-6.
The first-team defense was once again the star of the game for the Lions. The Jets failed to produce a single first down in their first three drives of the game, and Christian Hackenberg was hammered by Cornelius Washington on the first possession.
The Lions’ offense got off to a slow start, much like they did last week in Indianapolis. Matthew Stafford led the Lions into the red zone on the team’s first drive, but a sack by Demario Davis stalled the drive, and Detroit had to settle for a field goal.
After another failed drive, Stafford took the field for his third and final drive of the game. There, the Lions finally found their rhythm on offense. On that drive alone, Stafford went 6-7 for 55 yards and a touchdown. His final throw of the night was a perfectly laid fade to Marvin Jones Jr. in the corner of the end zone.
While the Lions’ starting offensive line remained in the game, Detroit’s offense noticeably struggled for the rest of the half. Eventually, Jake Rudock led the Lions on a two-minute drill, but Detroit failed to punch it in once they entered the red zone and went into the locker room with a 13-0 lead.
The Lions’ offense got off to a slow start in the second half, quickly going three-and-out. However, a well-timed special teams tackle by Dez Stewart forced a Jets fumble, and the Lions took over deep in Jets territory.
But the Lions quickly squandered that opportunity when Rudock threw an errant pass to Dwayne Washington that went straight into the arms of a Jets defender. Rudock’s day would end before the conclusion of the third quarter, finishing just 8-of-13 for 84 and an interception.
While the Lions offense remained in neutral under Brad Kaaya, the defense started to cede some yardage once Bryce Petty entered the game for the Jets. New York added two field goals in the fourth quarter, to bring it to a one-score game with 5:30 remaining in the game.
Bolstered by a good kick return from Keshawn Martin, Kaaya was able to march the Lions down the field into Jets territory. Matt Prater put the game away with a 50-yard field goal that pushed the score to a two-possession lead with just 1:11 left.
Rolan Milligan put an extra nail in the Jets’ coffin with a late interception on a 50/50 ball.
The Lions stay at home this week to prepare for their dress rehearsal preseason game against the New England Patriots on Friday. Considering the Lions’ first two opponents—the lowly Colts and Jets—Detroit should get a better idea of where they stand against the returning NFL champions.