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Lions vs. Raiders 2018 preseason: Kerryon Johnson shines in preseason loss, 16-10

All the information you need to know about the Lions’ 2018 preseason opener.

NFL: Detroit Lions-Minicamp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions lost their preseason opener to the Oakland Raiders 16-10. It was a slow start for the Lions, leading to some early anxiety from fans, but once the team settled in, they started to show some promise under the Matt Patricia era. Here’s a recap of the night’s events.

First quarter

The Lions won the toss and deferred, so Matt Patricia’s defense would kick off the 2018 season. At first, things looked a little iffy. After completing two passes, the Raiders turned to the run game and Marshawn Lynch went for a 60-yard touchdown. Thankfully, a holding penalty was called, and the Raiders quickly punted.

Interestingly, Ameer Abdullah was the first punt returner in the game, and he brought it back for a modest seven yards.

Alas, there was no Matthew Stafford to lead out the Lions offense. Matt Cassel was the team’s starting quarterback.

The offense clearly tried to send a message on their first series, running the ball twice to start the drive, setting up a third-and-5. Cassel would be sacked as he tried to climb the pocket. Joe Dahl, who started in place of T.J. Lang, was pushed several yards into the backfield and ceded the sack. Three-and-out.

The Raiders would respond with a field goal, bolstered by a big 41-yard pass play thanks to some busted coverage in the Lions secondary.

3-0 Raiders.

The Lions offense failed to respond, stuttering thanks to some inaccurate passes, an offensive pass interference call on Marvin Jones Jr., and poor blocking. But on the positive side, Kerryon Johnson got his first carry and took it for 12 yards!

The Raiders would continue to march down the field as the first quarter came to close still 3-0. But yardage told a more lopsided story:

Raiders: 118
Lions: 19

Second quarter

The Raiders continued to march down the field as the game entered the second period. Connor Cook had plenty of time in the backfield to pick apart the Lions secondary and eventually found Ryan Switzer for a seven-yard touchdown. Not a great start for the Lions all around. 10-0 Raiders.

The Lions offense finally got going in the second quarter, and it was... GASP... thanks to the running game. With the second-string offensive line in, LeGarrette Blount and Ameer Abdullah picked up runs of 13 and eight respectively. A personal foul penalty on the Raiders for the new helmet rule put the Lions quickly into field goal range. From there, it was the Abdullah show.

Abdullah punched it in from one yard out to bring the Lions back within a score. 10-7 Raiders.

After a stout performance by the Lions secondary, it was Jake Rudock’s time to take over the offense. Unfortunately, after a poor punt return from Abdullah, the Lions quickly went three-and-out.

The team traded poor two-minute drill attempts, but the Raiders got the ball back, and a gassed Lions defense allowed the Raiders to march into field goal territory before the end of the half. 13-7 Raiders.

Yardage total after the first half:

Raiders: 210
Lions: 96

Third quarter

The Lions started the second half with the ball and Kerryon Johnson in the backfield. Johnson had the play of the game for the Lions, but it was quickly called back due to a holding on Tyrell Crosby (which you can see plainly in the video below):

The drive immediately stalled, and the Lions punted.

The Raiders nearly extended their lead, but a botched red zone snap was recovered by Miles Killebrew—who was playing linebacker, holding the Raiders’ lead to just six points.

The Lions offense responded with an impressive drive. Starting from their own 7-yard line, the Lions drove 88 yards in over eight minutes. Kerryon Johnson had a nice third-down pickup on a screen play:

But the Lions stalled in the red zone. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Lions tacked on a field goal, bringing the score to 13-10 Raiders.

Fourth quarter

The Raiders quickly went three-and-out, thanks to a big third-and-1 stop by Lions fourth-round rookie Da’Shawn Hand.

Unfortunately, for the rest of the quarter, the penalties racked up and the Lions offense stalled. Jake Rudock looked uncomfortable and inaccurate all night, and the Raiders would end up running out most of the clock while adding another score. Raiders 16-10.

But with just over two minutes left, Matt Cassel came back in the game to run a two-minute drill for a potential game-winning touchdown. He got the team across midfield, but was promptly strip-sacked, ending the game.


We’re just 30 minutes from kickoff and we’re still not sure how much of the starters we’re going to see. At first, it didn’t seem like we’d see Matthew Stafford at all on Friday night, but it looks like he’s going through some pregame drills and is dressed for the game vs the Oakland Raiders:

Other guys, including Ezekiel Ansah, are also suited up, but it would still be a surprise if the defensive end—who just came off the PUP list recently—plays at all on Friday night.

The wait for Detroit Lions football is nearly over. On Friday, the 2018 Detroit Lions, led by new head coach Matt Patricia, will face the Oakland Raiders in their preseason opener.

The starters for each team are not expected to play much, and the playbook is bound to be quite vanilla, but there’s something exciting about seeing the team take the field for the first time. We won’t get all the answers we’re so desperately seeking from this team, but we may get hints scattered throughout Friday night.

While we may not get a long look at the starters, we should get to see a handful of the Lions’ new faces. Kerryon Johnson will likely get a fair share of playing time, as will third-round pick Tracy Walker, and free agent addition DeShawn Shead, who has impressed at camp thus far.

So in order to catch Lions for the first time this year, we’ve got a guide to make sure you’re in the know. Whether you want to watch it locally, nationally or listen to the new Lions radio duo, we’ve got all that information for you here!

Date: Friday, August 10, 2018
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum—Oakland, CA
Local TV: WJBK-TV FOX 2 (non-metro Detroit Michiganders check here for local listing)
National TV: NFL Network (blacked out locally)
Online streaming: NFL Game Pass (free 7-day trial),
Announcers: Matt Shepard, Chris Spielman, Tori Petry
Local radio: WJR-AM NEWS TALK 760
Radio announcers: Dan Miller, Lomas Brown

Replay times:

Saturday, August 11

  • 2 a.m. ET - Fox Sports Detroit
  • 12 p.m. ET - Fox Sports Detroit

Sunday, August 11

  • 9 p.m. ET - Fox Sports Detroit

Monday, August 13

  • 4:30 a.m. ET - NFL Network

Tuesday, August 13

  • 12 p.m. ET - Fox Sports Detroit

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