The Lions’ offensive line stepped up big time last week and showed tremendous improvement over their performance from the first week of the preseason. The biggest beneficiary of that was Lions third-string quarterback David Fales, who had what was probably his best day out of all preseason games and training camp practices. At one point in the game, Fales had a perfect passer rating.
Backup quarterback Josh Johnson didn’t do too hot behind that same line, however, as he had zero chemistry with his receivers and looked lost in his new team’s offense. I still think he’s the answer at backup quarterback, but another poor outing from Johnson and stellar showing from Fales could start shaking things up.
Bold prediction of the week: David Fales balls out, turns backup quarterback position into a real competition.
This bold prediction starts (and ends) with the offensive line. It seems like the Lions have found a solid groove with Joe Dahl and Graham Glasgow starting at guard, and Beau Benzschawel looked a lot more comfortable in the game against the Texans. Meanwhile, Oday Aboushi struggled and looks like he’s on the outs.
If they can replicate a serviceable performance, then things turn to Fales. In the first preseason game, he had a habit of holding onto the ball too long and hesitating to throw to his receivers, leading to a slew of sacks. Last week, he seemed ready to get rid of the ball a lot quicker (ironically behind a much improved line) and was largely on point with the exception of this duck to Travis Fulgham that turned a fly route into a back-shoulder throw:
On the other hand, if Johnson returns to his 2018 self, then a good outing from Fales may be too little too late. If Johnson still looks uncomfortable, however, then it may be time for the coaching staff to start giving serious consideration to Fales working with the second-team offense.
Perhaps if last week swayed them enough, or if Johnson has had a rough week in practice, then that is something we could see Friday night, but this is called bold prediction of the week, not impossible prediction of the week.