The 2017 Preseason Kicks Off For Detroit As They Head Back To Indianapolis To Take On the Colts.
With the 2017 preseason kicking off on Wednesday, August 9, Lions fans have to wait until a typical Sunday to see the action. Many questions are coming out of the team as training camp closed. Who is the backup quarterback? How will the linebackers look? Is Kenny Golladay all hype and no bite?
Well while it is only one game to go off of, some of these questions could be answered somewhat come Sunday. With changes coming from the NFL as teams must shrink their rosters from 90 to 53 in one day, compared to 90 to 75 by week four of the preseason, then from 75 to 53 after that.
With that, this gives over 400 players around the league one extra week to prove their worth on the team and that journey for them starts Sunday.
Battle of the Backups
We all know Matt Stafford will be under center on Sundays, and he will get his one drive, leaving the rest of the game up to Jake Rudock and Brad Kaaya. Both have been competing since Kaaya was drafted by the Lions. Last season, Rudock competed with veteran Dan Orlovsky, and while Rudock performed better than Orlovsky, the Lions cut Rudock but brought him back to the practice squad.
During the offseason for the Lions, they decided that Rudock was the future as the backup, informing Orlovsky that he would not be brought back. With that, the Lions drafted Kaaya out of Miami and the competition started.
QB-WR drills … Rudock elongated wind up, Kaaya has a lot of wasted motion … Stafford still elite
— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) July 31, 2017
So far in camp, from many fans/writers eyes, Rudock is in the lead in the battle so far. Neither has looked phenomenal in practices, but Rudock is a step ahead of Kaaya. This battle will be the main focus on the offense come Sunday.
Jarrad Davis Looking Ready For His Shot
When it came for the Detroit Lions to make their pick at 21 for the 2017 NFL Draft, many players were possibilities. Fans argued whether a linebacker or defensive end should be the first pick. Others thought a running back or cornerback were bigger holes. When the time came, the Lions selected Davis out of Florida and they haven’t looked back.
Davis has impressed the media with the way he presents himself and the role he looks to take on the team as a rookie. His presence in the locker room screams a future leader of this defense and this team. Davis has impressed in camp so far with his coverage skills and big hits.
Jarrad Davis is good in coverage. That's a relief.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) August 4, 2017
Jarrad Davis is getting all the would be tackles in 7on7s right now.
— Alex Reno (@alex_reno) August 4, 2017
All Aboard The Golladay Train
The Lions drafted Kenny Golladay in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and thoughts of Calvin Johnson ran through the brains of Lions fans. 6’4, 213 pounds, someone who is big and can get the tough grabs. Golladay has been impressing the team during training camp. He gets tough grabs and is able to create some good separation between him and the defender.
We have seen players like this before, shining in camp, then fall flat once game time comes. Golladay was a questionable pick to some fans, considering Golladay is out of the MAC, some believe he won’t be what he was in college. This is his time to show what he has.
A rematch of the first regular season game last season will have the same result. While the starters don’t play as much as the backups, you won’t see Andrew Luck out there as he is still on the PUP list. The Colts made some good additions during the off-season, adding Kamar Aiken to the receiving core, John Simon, Jabaal Sheard, and Barkevious Mingo to the linebacker group that suffered in 2016. They drafted safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Quincy Wilson, both will beef up the secondary.
The Lions were able to add some help on the offensive line with Rick Wagner and TJ Lang. The blow of losing Taylor Decker for part of the season is a hard pill to swallow as well. Detroit had troubles last time they played the Colts when it came to covering tight ends, with the newest additions of Davis, Paul Worrilow, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and with Dwayne Allen getting traded, that problem might not exist anymore.
This is a game of firsts, so anything can really happen out on the field, but looking at the roster and with camps over, I see Detroit winning this game 21-17.
If you are interested in a more in depth preview, click here.