Week One Review: Detroit Lions 39 – Indianapolis Colts 35

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Detroit Lions Win Against Indianapolis Colts In Week One

Finally after waiting months for football to return and watching meaningless preseason games get played, the 2016 NFL season is underway! Week one for the Detroit Lions took them to Indianapolis to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts. Detroit had an impressive first half, but the second half was a struggle for them to get things going again. Detroit ended up winning in a crazy finish, so let’s go ahead and break this down.

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Matt Stafford looked well, going 31 for 39 for 340 yards and three touchdowns. He did make a bad throw to Marvin Jones that almost was picked off by Antonio Cromartie, but he was able to escape pressure most of the game. Leaving the pocket to get a first down or keeping the play alive. Stafford looked solid today and seemed to be just fine without number 81 as he lead the team to a game winning field goal.

The running game seemed to improve with Ameer Abdullah having 12 carries for 63 yards, one play he was able to break a tackle and run to the opposite side of the field for a gain of 13. Theo Riddick had seven carries for 45 yards, one going 21 yards for a touchdown, but he did leave the game with an injury but returned. Dwayne Washington even got to play with two carries for a yard and a touchdown.

Receiving was lead by Golden Tate who had seven catches for 41 yards, while Marvin Jones had four catches for 85 yards. Theo Riddick had five catches for 63 yards and Eric Ebron had five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Ameer Abdullah had five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Anquan Boldin had three catches for 35 yards and even Andre Roberts got a catch in for eight yards. Stafford peppered the receiving corps throughout the game.

The offensive line impressed in the first half, creating holes for the running game and protecting Stafford well. The second half was worse, Detroit couldn’t run at all in the third quarter and Stafford was faced with pressure constantly. They would improve in the fourth quarter, but you have to be good in all four quarters.

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The defensive line did well today, but not as well as many expected against a weak and beat up Colts offensive line. They were able to create pressure early, but later in the game they were getting locked up. Andrew Luck was sacked two times by Kerry Hyder and the Colts had 29 yards on the ground on 11 carries. Ziggy Ansah had two tackles and a tackle for loss, Devin Taylor had six tackles, Tyrunn Walker with four and Haloti Ngata had two along with a pass deflection.

Linebacking had a lot mistakes today. Tahir Whitehead messed up the coverage assignment and allowed Dwayne Allen to get a touchdown in the third quarter and was later beat again, luckily the second time the pass was incomplete. Whitehead had 10 tackles and two pass deflections. DeAndre Levy looked off with four tackles and a pass deflection, but had a costly taunting penalty that gave the Colts another chance on a drive in the fourth quarter- he would blow coverage costing them a touchdown. Kyle Van Noy did have a pass deflection, but besides that was quiet.

The defensive backs for Detroit did well to begin the game, but as the game went on, they started making mistakes and leaving guys open. Darius Slay had four tackles, but got beat deep by Phillip Dorsett. Nevin Lawson had four tackles and Quandre Diggs had six tackles. Glover Quin got beat by Donte Moncrief near the goal line for a touchdown, but he did have three tackles and a pass deflection. The other starting safety Tavon Wilson had four tackles.

Special Teams did somewhat well in the kicking game as Matt Prater missed one extra point attempt, but would make the game winning field goal from 43 yards out. Sam Martin had four punts for 235 yards with two ending inside the 20. The return game for Detroit wasn’t impressive as Andre Roberts had a punt return for -1 yard and 22 yards on a kick return.

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Week One What it Means

Detroit having two running backs that can run and catch reminds me of 2013 with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. If Detroit can continue to create holes for their backs and be a factor in the passing game, will have a crazy offense being able to run well and throw to many options.

No Calvin Johnson today and guess what? Detroit could still put up some points. All of the talk of the offseason where Detroit couldn’t live without him seems to be a myth as Stafford still could sling it without Megatron out there.

The offensive line improving means Detroit could possibly be able to run the ball more and better, along with helping out the passing game and Matt Stafford. Detroit has struggled blocking the past two seasons, especially last season. With this problem getting reduced, as they still had issues, it will give Detroit more chances to win and stay in games.

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Week One What to Think About

Detroit had a meltdown in the second half. They were able to put up 21 points in the first half, but only 18 in the second half. The defense allowed only 10 points in the first, then 25 in the next. Detroit will need to play all four quarters and not give teams chances in the second half. You can’t win games by playing two quarters, need to play all four.

DeAndre Levy seemed way off. He was taunting the Colts bench, something unlike him, and in some of the coverage assignments he was beat and juked out easily. Got to wonder if he will be the same or if he has lost a step.

Ziggy Ansah, while having a sack today, was mostly quiet and in a possible contract year, he needs to look good if he wants to get paid. Bob Quinn will be watching him closely as his performance this year will have an impact on how much money Detroit will offer him at the end of the season.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for myfantasysportstalk.com and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.