A wacky first half allowed the Detroit Lions to take control of their Week 5 game against the Green Bay Packers early and they never looked back. Here’s a few things we learned in the Lions divisional win.
Kenny Golladay is this team’s WR1
As I wrote about earlier this week, second year receiver Kenny Golladay has been the offense’s best player this season. The receiver was Matthew Stafford’s favorite target on the day and was a key piece in Detroit’s domination. Golladay was targeted nine times—six times in the first half—for four receptions and 98 yards. While Golden Tate eventually surpassed his reception total late in the game, they came on shorter passes while the Lions were trying to ice the game. Detroit was making an effort to make sure the ball was getting into his hands. With the way he has been performing recently it’s easy to see why.
Detroit is making an effort to get Kerryon Johnson involved.
The first drive an NFL offense plays in any game is a scripted drive that they had memorized and worked on throughout the week. Everything is predetermined and put through a flowchart to make sure the team can get off to a good start. On their first drive Sunday the Lions handed the ball off to rookie running back Kerryon Johnson three times and he was targeted by Stafford on an out route out of the backfield.
This shows that the Lions really want him to get involved. Four touches on the scripted drive means Detroit sees him as an incredibly valuable to the offense. An early injury cut his game short but he still finished with 12 carries for 70 yards along with two receptions for 15. It is still unknown the severity of the injury he suffered, but assuming he returns to the lineup soon, his share of the touches should only get bigger.
The Lions have fixed their short-yardage issues
Detroit’s inability to convert on third and fourth-and-1 have haunted this team over the past couple of years. These issues seem to be all but buried. Running back LeGarrette Blount converted a third-and-1 on the ground early in the game to keep the offense moving. He later scored two 1-yard touchdowns to get the Lions out to an early lead.
While Blount has been awful in basically every other situation, he has thrived in the areas Detroit needed him to the most. With Johnson grabbing more and more carries on a week-to-week basis—assuming he’s healthy—Blount’s role may be marginalized to just these situations. He has done the job he was brought to Detroit to do and that is huge for the Lions offense going forward.