Golden Tate Showed Up As The Number Two Receiver, Giving Detroit Life On Offense
Detroit came in with a tough matchup against a defensive line that was sure to give Stafford issues. Blocking for the Lions held up well and the offense found some life in an old fan favorite. The defense, while allowing the Rams to break records and look like a legit team, came up clutch in the end once again. Detroit is on a two game winning streak, improving to 3-3, giving life to what was a once dead season. Check out what happened below.
Matt Stafford was on point today. He ended up going 23 for 31 for 270 yards and four touchdowns. He could of had more if the receivers hadn’t drop four passes, but Stafford still was the workhorse today. He looked solid and only made one mistake all game. He kept drives alive by using his feet and running the ball, getting three carries for 16 yards.
The rushing attack was nothing to be afraid of. Zach Zenner got the start and at times had nice carries, but most of the time he was in the backfield. He ended with 14 carries for 58 yards. Justin Forsett had five carries for five yards, not getting much playing time with lack of the playbook knowledge, but he didn’t impress many in his debut. Detroit had 85 total yards on the ground, that can’t always win you games, but it was just enough today.
Golden Tate came to life for the first time today and led the charge in the air. He ended with a team high eight catches for 165 yards and a touchdown. Anquan Boldin also had eight catches for 60 yards and scored as well. Marvin Jones was quiet, only getting two catches for 10 yards, but he still got a touchdown. Andre Roberts joined in on the fun and had two catches for 13 yards and a very tough touchdown grab.
Blocking for Detroit was somewhat consistent. They did allow a sack today but it was one of the few times Aaron Donald was in single blockage. Graham Glasgow played left guard while Laken Tomlinson moved to right guard with Larry Warford out. Both did well in pass protection, but there were a few flags for false start that can’t happen. Overall they probably had their best game of the year against a tough defensive line.
The defensive line was getting worked on today without Haloti Ngata. Ziggy Ansah did return, but was quiet in his first game back. He didn’t record anything on the stat sheet, but others did help. Devin Taylor had two tackles, a sack, pass deflection and a forced fumble, but blew his chance to recover. Kerry Hyder stepped up again with three tackles, two tackles for loss and Anthony Zettel contributed some with four tackles.
Linebackers for Detroit were getting exposed. Kyle Van Noy blew a man coverage and allowed a score, but ended with five tackles. Tahir Whitehead lead the team again in tackles with nine, but still wasn’t impressing in zone coverage. Thurston Armbrister had four tackles.
Secondary was inconsistent for Detroit. Darius Slay got beat two times and allowed Kenny Britt to look like an all-pro, only getting two tackles and a big pass deflection. Nevin Lawson had two tackles as well, but had a costly pass interference play and lacked in zone coverage. Glover Quin had four tackles and had another costly penalty while the Rams were driving.
Keenum had 19 straight complete passes and threw for 321 yards, Detroit made him look great and coming in he had the worst QB rating in the NFL. Luckily in the end, Rafael Bush came in clutch with an interception to seal the win for Detroit, getting three tackles and a pass deflection as well.
Special Teams was almost solid all around. Sam Martin had two punts for 104 yards, one ending inside the 20. Prater made all his extra points and made the game winning field goal from 34 yards out. Andre Roberts still has issues on returns, getting two for 44 yards, but gave no effort when he was one yard deep in the endzone and only got to the 16 yard line, instead of kneeling and starting at the 25. Roberts would also get one punt return for 4 yards.
Week Six: What It Means
Golden Tate coming back to life means Detroit can make offenses worry about him again. He hasn’t been a problem all year, but if he can play at this rate for the rest of the year, he will be an issue.
Graham Glasgow and Laken Tomlinson held their own this week. No sacks were allowed and while the run game wasn’t fantastic, it was still a good game by both guards and Detroit may give Glasgow another look over Tomlinson when Warford returns.
Drops are back in Detroit. Detroit had four drops today, which means Detroit now leads the league in drops. The passes weren’t bad either, on point and in the receivers hands or chest and they just couldn’t hang on. Detroit will need these to stop if they ever want a chance to do something great.
Week Six: What to Think About
Zach Zenner had the most carries to no surprise, but how long will he continue to start with Forsett on the team? If Dwayne Washington comes back soon, or Theo Riddick how will the snaps turn out? That is something to think about going forward.
Andre Roberts needs help on kick returns. Constantly this year he has left the endzone many times and it has hurt the team more than helped them. Detroit has to think of either changing who returns the kickoff, or force Roberts to kneel the ball in the endzone.
Teryl Austin and his defense is still struggling in zone coverage. Man Coverage has been the best thing for the team, no word on why Austin still uses zone as the team can’t cover or stop anything with it. Austin has to think of a change on the defensive side if they want to win games soundly, not coming down to a game winning field goal or a defensive stop.