This game was a lot more fun than the Detroit Lions’ first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. It was a back-and-forth game that came down to the wire. If preseason games are going to take the star power out of the game, competitiveness replacing that always makes it a little more enjoyable. What was more enjoyable was that the Lions got their first preseason win since August 24, 2018 with their 27-26 win over the Colts.
As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts:
Golly! That was decent fudging game from Blough
This mother-fudger went out there and once again proved that the No. 2 quarterback spot is firmly in the fudging hands of David “Golly Fudge” Blough. In all seriousness, Blough continues to surprise with his play a little more every year. This season, Blough has added an elusiveness to his game and it’s giving defensive lines fits. He’s throwing well, too, of course. The interception was one of those classic freak occurrence picks that I won’t blame him for.
Blough looked really good on the final drive of the first half in the two minute drill. His touchdown pass to Tom Kennedy as time expired sealed the deal for Blough in my mind.
A touchdown to end the half!#DETvsIND | Lions TV Network pic.twitter.com/lAQ4vhz1Zs— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 20, 2022
Second unit offensive line looks way better this week
That second group was pretty concerning against the Falcons. On Saturday they looked a lot better and it showed early and often on the ground. The Lions had 99 rushing yards in the first half of the game, and they continued to open up holes as the game went on. Blough had to be elusive at times, but for the most part, the line allowed Blough time to make decisions. Just a much better showing all around.
Maurice Alexander claimed a roster spot on Saturday
This cat is hellbent on playing football year round. Alexander just played in USFL Championship Game on July 3. On Saturday, he made a statement in the NFL with some big time returns. The Lions return game is sort of up in the air right now. A bunch of guys have got shots during the preseason so far, but none of them have done the stuff that Alexander did on Saturday. Alexander racked up 152 yards on kick returns and averaged 38 yards per return. He almost broke this one.
Big return from @_hardtime3! #DETvsIND | Lions TV Network pic.twitter.com/dX0i17lwr2— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 20, 2022
This guy deserves a roster spot and he may have just earned himself one on Saturday.
You’re going to have to work really hard to try to convince me that Tom Kennedy doesn’t deserve to be a part of the Lions’ 53-man roster. Please tell me what receiver that theoretically is standing in his way is playing better than him? We haven’t seen Quintez Cephus. Trinity Benson hasn’t really done much. Kalif Raymond hasn’t done much either and Jameson Williams isn’t going to be around for a while. Kennedy has been a constant performer.
On Saturday he had another nice game with five receptions for 24 yards and two touchdowns. If he hits the waiver wire, there’s going to be a team that steals him away immediately.
Will Harris struggled
Will Harris had a bad day, and it showed. He looked lost out there, and on one play, he bit so hard that he broke his teeth. He lost his man and the Colts got the first down.
Maybe you can make an excuse for him that he has switched from safety to corner, and he’s still figuring it out, but struggles are not something that’s new to Will Harris on the field. I’m sure he’ll make the 53-man roster, but I don’t know how sure I am of that anymore.
Craig Reynolds is probably still a lock to be the third running back on the Lions roster, but the rest of the gang made a case for themselves on Saturday. Justin Jackson had the fumble early in the game, but he otherwise looked pretty good with 54 yards on 7.7 yards per carry. Jermar Jefferson had some nice runs when he got out there, and Godwin Igwebuike did, too. Could one of these guys have made a case for the Lions to carry four running backs into the season?
Austin Bryant is legit
We brought it up earlier in the week, and Bryant made his case known on Saturday. Austin Bryant might be a guy that can have a breakout season in 2022. He was all over the Colts offensive line and got to the quarterback twice for two sacks. The Lions need to rush the passer pretty badly. It was problem in 2021. Bryant could certainly help remedy that issue in 2022 if he continues to play like he did against the Colts.
Tim Boyle looked a lot better
I still think David Blough is the Lions number two quarterback, but this is probably the best we’ve seen from Tim Boyles since he came to Detroit. He led a couple really nice drives and was pretty accurate along the way. The 18-play drive that led to the Lions go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter is exactly the type of play you want to see from your quarterback. Ultimately, Blough’s elusiveness and more steady play should be enough to give him the nod. I’m sure the Lions will wind up keeping both these guys again like they did in 2021. That is, unless they have a hard time cutting someone at another spot.