The Detroit Lions came into Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Commanders with a laundry list of injuries. They were left without their entire interior offensive line, their best backup guard and their No. 1 cornerback. We quickly saw the Lions go from being favored by 3.5 points to being the underdog prior to kickoff. It was a lot for a young team and coaching staff to overcome, but it wasn’t enough to keep this gritty team down on the ground.
The Lions are a team that embodies the “Next Man Up” mentality. How many teams can overcome losing three of their five starters on the offensive line, plus their top offensive guard reserve?
They took a 6-foot-9 offensive tackle in Dan Skipper, plugged him in at left guard (a spot that he hasn’t played since the 2018 preseason), and the OL didn’t skip a beat against an imposing Commanders defensive line. Kudos to Skipper, Evan Brown and Logan Stenberg for stepping in and stepping up in place of their comrades, but also, what a magnificent job from OL coach Hank Fraley.
Detroit Lions Week 2 Song of the Game: “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down
Heading into halftime with a 22-0 lead, the Lions looked unbeatable. After a couple of stalled drives, the offense found its footing and started to impose its will on the ground, which also opened up the play-action passing game for them. On defense, Aaron Glenn was dialing up the pressure early and often, which put Carson Wentz out of his comfort zone. All was good.
Then, the second half happened. After the Commanders were able to adjust and managed to bring the game to within one score, I’m sure a lot of Lions fans were feeling like they’ve seen this movie before. But these are not your “Same Old Lions” of years past. Each time the Commanders made it a one-score game, the Lions immediately bounced back on the next drive to make it two scores separating them. They were finally able to shake a little bit of dust out of those jeans.
When the 2022 Detroit Lions get knocked down, they’re going to get back up again. Whether it’s Jeff Okudah, Aidan Hutchinson, and D’Andre Swift all fighting through injuries, or Will Harris struggling early and finding a way to create a turnover late, this quite literally rang true on Sunday.
You can find the 2022 playlist here (or below):