The Detroit Lions only managed to score one touchdown in their preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders on Friday. The drive came courtesy of Ameer Abdullah, the running back who many believed was on the roster bubble entering this game. He showed off the vision and creativity he has as a runner that made him such an exciting draft pick just three years ago and carried the team downfield into the endzone.
Abdullah’s first carry on the drive came on a second-and-long. He got decent run blocking from the interior of the offensive line and made the most of all the room they gave him.
A few plays later Abdullah would get his next carry. The interior run blocking was not anywhere near as good as it was on the previous play. It failed him almost entirely but the running back was still able to make the most out of poor blocking.
His next run was probably his least successful play on the entire drive. The blocking was less than stellar yet again, but he was fine lowering his shoulder into contact rather than trying to take a risk and bouncing the run outside.
Abdullah would get a handoff on a second-and-short play, and Oakland’s defensive front was ready. They ran over the Lions offensive line and burst into the backfield to take down Abdullah. The running back calmly managed to avoid them, get the first down and then some more.
Oakland would get the jump on Abdullah again on his next run. The Raiders do a great job swarming around the ball in the backfield while also maintaining edge discipline. The running back responds well though, and shows off great vision and agility. This play was called back because of a holding penalty on Corey Robinson.
The running back’s lone reception of the game came later on the drive. It was a well drawn up play that should have freed the running back for an easy touchdown. He ends up losing his footing on the terrible baseball surface of Oakland's stadium.
He didn’t have to wait long to get his touchdown, though, as he capped off the drive with a short run into the end zone.
Abdullah showed off his great vision and agility the entire drive. He didn’t bust off any long runs, but he was able to create consistent gains and keep the Lions offense ahead of schedule. He made the most out of poor blocking and showed everyone why he is worth keeping on the 53-man roster.