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Lions vs. Texans: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions second preseason game.

NFL: Preseason-Detroit Lions at Houston Texans John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

So I guess this was better, right? The Lions narrowly lost their second preseason game to the Houston Texans by a score of 30-23. While this was better, it was still very ugly. But this time I got to eat chicken nuggets courtesy of the Houston Texans. So how bad could it be?

Anyhow, I have some thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.

The Lions receivers are really bad

I’m not talking about the guys you know and love. Kenny Golladay and company are too legit to quit. But man, this group falls off a really steep cliff and hits every single jagged rock possible on the way down after Danny Amendola. That’s a real problem for a team that suffered many injuries at the position last season.

This team desperately needs to dip its toes into the free agent or trade pool and try to acquire somebody that can play that number four spot. Honestly they could use a five and maybe a six too.

All Day Slay and other guys that played too long

This game was weird. For some reason Darius Slay, Kerryon Johnson and A’Shawn Robinson played almost the entire first half. You could make the argument that the Lions were giving Slay extra reps since he hasn’t been a full participant at the entire camp, but then you’d have to wonder why he didn’t play as long against New England. Slay did have a couple nice pass break ups though. But he did blow an assignment on his last drive of the game.

Kerryon Johnson got a lot of work Saturday night too. He ended the day with just three for 16 yards. However, he was out there rotating with CJ Anderson until nearly the end of the half. A’Shawn Robinson also kept on playing the game too. It’s weird to see. One has to wonder how long we’ll see these guys in the “dress rehearsal game.”

Did David Fales just make a strong case for the number two spot?

If you would have asked me before the preseason if David Fales would even make the team, I would have told you there’s no way. I actually would have laughed at you to be honest. I mean I would have been really smug and rude about it.

Then Tom Savage got a concussion and Josh Johnson went 8-16 for 81 yards and an interception and fumble in his Lions debut. All David Fales had to do was succeed at something to pull ahead. Like he could have just slipped on a banana peel and accidentally threw a touchdown pass and he’d be set. But then he came out and looked like not just a competent quarterback, but good one.

At the end of the day, Fales looked really sharp. he went 12-19 for 226 yards and a touchdown. He even had a perfect passer rating for much of his time on the field. Consider me a mixture of shocked and impressed. The Lions backup quarterback situation is still in shambles, but Fales was the best of a bad situation Saturday night.

Hockenson is good y’all

Look, he didn’t do all that much; he actually just caught one pass for 22 yards. But TJ Hockenson looked damn good doing it. Who’s ready to full submerge themselves in believing the hype?

Special teams was not special

I don’t know how Jamal Agnew walked out of this game alive. He was left hanging out to dry all day and the Lions weren’t able to get good field position to save their lives. It wasn’t just Agnew that took the punishment. Tommylee Lewis and Tom Kennedy got beat up too. For a team that just fired their special teams coach this offseason, the Lions still have a real problem here after the return of John Bonamego. You have to hope this is just a preseason thing.

Defense was good and bad. But mostly bad.

There were definitely a few good spots for the Lions. Romeo Okwara had a pretty decent game with 3 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble that set up a touchdown for rookie Will Harris.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin was a big standout too. He continued his good preseason showing with five tackles and a really nice pass defense. He was everywhere the ball was and just flat out hustled on every play he was a part of. This guy has a future.

Andrew Adams continued his ball hawking ways with a pick on Joe Webb in the second quarter. He’s a guy that you should firmly keeping an eye on to make this team. Even if this happened to him a little later.

It’s just preseason

I mean this is really going to be the sentiment after every single one of these games. The Lions aren’t playing anyone for the most part and they aren’t really running anything either. We’ve seen this team go 4-0 in the preseason and then go 0-16 in the regular season. We’ve seen them struggle to do anything and then make the playoffs. Just calm down. When in doubt, always refer to Mr. Mom.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.