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10 things I think I know about the Lions: Preseason Week 3

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Heading into the Lions’ preseason dress rehearsal, here are a few things I think I know. 

NFL: New York Jets at Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions came away with their second straight win this preseason. As they head into Week 3, here are 10 things I think I know.

1) I think Quandre Diggs is a lock to make the team. If you’ve been paying attention to our Detroit Lions Bubble Watch at all this season, you’ll notice I’ve been one of the only staffers to consistently lock Diggs onto the roster. Yes, Jamal Agnew has flashed throughout the preseason, but teams don’t just give up on young talent, especially at the nickel cornerback position. I think Diggs makes the team and will play a lot if healthy.

2) I think the starting defensive line played well against the Jets, but remember, it was the Jets. Beating up against Christian Hackenberg isn’t the same as going up against Aaron Rodgers. The positive side of that coin is that the Lions took advantage of a weaker opponent. It’s always good to see the team not play down to the competition.

3) I think it’s smart of the Lions to use caution with Ezekiel Ansah’s injury. Ansah went on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list as soon as training camp opened up. The injury has been a complete mystery, and we may never know what’s ailing Ansah unless it lingers into the regular season. For now, I’m perfectly okay with them being cautious.

4) I think the Lions new uniforms look great, but the numbers are horrible to decipher on television. The nines look like zeroes. The fives looks like sixes.

New York Jets v Detroit Lions

I mean, what number is that? 38? 36? 35? It’s a mess. Anyone else having this problem?

5) I think it’s time to start worrying Eric Ebron’s health. I love the dimension he adds when he’s on the field, but soft tissue injuries like a pulled hamstring can linger throughout the season.

6) Speaking of tight ends, I think Darren Fells may be the steal of free agency. Fells is head and shoulders above any tight end on the roster not named Eric Ebron. I thought he had a very nice showing against the Jets last Saturday. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he doubles the amount of snaps he had last season (370).

7) I think the Lions end up keeping end up keeping six cornerbacks. In a league where your team is in nickel defense 70 percent of the time, you can never have enough good defensive backs. In the end, here’s who I think they keep:

  • Darius Slay
  • Nevin Lawson
  • Quandre Diggs
  • DJ Hayden
  • Jalen Tabor
  • Jamal Agnew

8) I think it’s a good thing Jim Bob Cooter took the offseason to retool the Lions’ run game. Last season the Lions ranked 30th in the NFL in rushing last year, averaging just under 82 yards per game. Now compare that to the Buffalo Bills, who ranked No. 1 in the league with 164.4 yards per game. I don’t think anyone expects them to quite get to that level, but an improved run game could do wonders for this offense.

9) I think the Lions could have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL (even without Taylor Decker) if TJ Lang and Rick Wagner can stay healthy. Lang got his first action of the season against the Jets and said he “felt pretty good” afterward. If Lang comes out on Friday and plays significant snaps against the New England Patriots, that would be an encouraging sign for the Lions.

10) I think no one nationally cares about the Lions. And I think that’s right where they want to be. I remember prior to the 2012 season, coming off of their first playoff birth of the 21st century, the hype for the Lions was nearly uncontrollable. The reality soon set in as the team limped their way to a 4-12 season. It’s much easier to “overachieve” than it is to try and live up to expectations.

No one is really talking about the Lions right now, and I think I like it.