Here we are, Lions fans! We’ve reached the fake football level of our climb to the return of Lions football. The Lions opened up the preseason with a 16-10 loss to the Oakland/Las Vegas/Los Angeles Raiders. If you were hoping for Jake Rudock after midnight, this was your kind of night. If you were hoping for a consistent pass rush, keep hoping.
Let’s get down to some quick business here. Every year, “What Just Happened” has a theme. In 2016, it was Fresh Prince. Last season, it was obscure 90s songs. That’s why you got to see videos like this in last year’s series.
This year, the themes continues. But for now—and possibly the rest of the year—the theme is just going to be me and all the wacky things that I do. Get ready to take a deep dive into the mind of Mike Payton. It’s going to be a blast.
Anyways, as always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.
Pass rush is a not thing that exists in Detroit
Look, it’s the preseason. Everyone knows that this is all vanilla playcalling, and none of this really matters. Having said that, everything matters! The Lions could not get to a quarterback to save their lives. Look what Connor Cook was able to do here.
Now if you look closely enough, you can see Cook put a casserole in the oven, drink a glass of wine and then serve the aforementioned casserole to a girl he’s courting before throwing the touchdown.
This is going to be a problem for the Lions all year. I get the ‘Do Your Job” aspect that I believe Patricia is adding. I even fully stand behind it. But Bob Quinn needs to make some phone calls ASAP and start signing and/or trading for some help on this defensive line or else it won’t matter who’s doing their job. It’s all going to look bad.
Nine months from Saturday, there will be plenty of children named Kerryon born
Damn, that was sexy out there, was it not? Normally when I’m trying to ease the wife into the mood, I throw on a little Teddy Pendergrass, like so:
But now I might crack open a bottle of wine and watch Kerryon Johnson highlights—specifically Johnson’s 12-yard carry that counted and his long run that didn’t count.
At the end of the day, Johnson will be the talk of the town and the biggest takeaway of this entire game. He finished his day with 34 yards on seven carries. That’s 4.9 yards per carry. He also threw in four receptions for 33 yards.
I know we’ve been burned before. Like a lot of times. But at this moment, Kerryon is giving Lions fans a lot to be excited about in both camp and the preseason. Let’s see if that can translate into the regular season.
The Lions have too many good running backs?
Lions run game not looking so good so far— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) August 11, 2018
I wrote that after the first two carries. Yeah, I was wrong, and I jumped the gun. The Lions running backs put on a show Friday night. LeGarrette Blount did a little of this and a little of that in his Lions debut. He had a nice 13-yard run that followed a run where the entire Raiders defense ganged up to take him down like he was The Big Show in the Royal Rumble.
Ameer Abdullah surprised the heck out of me. I remember thinking in camp last week that Abdullah looked pretty good. I still maintained that he’s the odd man out. Now I don’t know. After Abdullah put on a good show and scored a touchdown on his series, I’m starting to wonder if the Lions are going to carry four or five running backs in 2018.
This is actually a good problem to have. If anything, Abdullah put up some good video for trade purposes. If he doesn't figure into the plan, he should still be able to net a late-round pick, and that’s alright with me.
DeShawn Shead is a guy to keep an eye on
Shead looked really good in the early going. He grabbed a couple of special teams tackles on the Lions’ first two kickoffs. Shead is a guy I’ve been excited about since camp started. He’s shown a lot of flashes, and I fully expect him to be the No. 2 guy opposite Darius Slay. Even if he did get badly burned by Martavis Bryant in the second quarter. Bryant didn’t catch it though. So I didn’t see anything if you didn’t.
Lions back up quarterbacks are bad
This video really captures the spirit of the Lions’ backup quarterbacks: Just overthrows and underthrows all night long. I honestly don’t know how there were no interceptions. Seriously guys, Matt Cassel had completed 50% of his passes in what we assumed was his stint. But for some odd reason, Patricia put him back in the game in the final two minutes. Cassell then fumbled the ball and allowed us all to go to bed. Thanks Matt.
As for Rudock, it wasn’t much better. At least he was more accurate and his decision making was a little cleaner. Still, if the worst thing happens and Stafford gets hurt, the season is over. Still, over half of the teams in the NFL are the same way, so don’t feel too bad. But Jeremy says it all here.
I don't want to see a Lions quarterback not named Matthew Stafford ever throw a pass again.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) August 11, 2018
Remember, it’s only preseason
Nobody likes to hear this part. Whether it’s because bad stuff happened or if it’s because good stuff happened, at the end of the day, this all means nothing. These games are all about seeing players in live situations and seeing who’s staying and who’s going.
So with that in mind, temper your expectations on the good stuff and don’t fret too much on the bad stuff. Now is the time to have fun before we begin to be obsessive and anxious people when the regular season starts.