Detroit Hosts Its First Preseason Game As They Take on The New York Jets.
Football is back in Detroit baby! The Lions host their preseason opener against the Jets in what should be another showcase for the backups. Fans saw a solid win over the Colts on Sunday last week, something that was rare to see during the regular season in 2016.
Some good news as well coming into Saturday’s game? It might be another comfortable one. The Jets beat the Titans in their first game 7-3, in a boring shootout that nobody wanted to watch. The Jets are still trying to figure out who their quarterback should be and with their best wide receiver Quincy Enunwa out for the season, the offense looks to be a big question mark for the AFC East team.
The Jets defense did produce eight sacks and 10 pass deflections against Tennessee, so their defense could help them win some games this season. Let’s look into the three biggest storylines heading into Saturday’s game.
Can A’Shawn Robinson Lead The Defensive Line?
The biggest blow to the Detroit Lions so far this season has been losing starting defensive end Kerry Hyder for the season due to an Achilles tear. Detroit can two two things to address this issue. First, find a replacement in free agency or via trade. It could help beef up the line that desperately needs a replacement. Next, they could stick with their younger players. It can be a cheaper option and they may find a diamond in the rough.
In either instance, Detroit needs A’Shawn Robinson to step up. With Ziggy Ansah most likely missing the preseason, this is Robinson’s defensive line and he needs to step up this season. Haloti Ngata is on his way out after the 2017 season, so Robinson will be the number one defensive tackle and he needs to start playing like one.
Is @Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson ready to take a big step forward in his second season in the NFL? pic.twitter.com/aIN1zKsGD0
— PFF (@PFF) August 16, 2017
Sure his first matchup of the season was against the Colts, a team with a weak offensive line, but it was still a good showing for the sophomore. He may have had zero tackles or sacks, but getting two pass deflections on 17 snaps and creating pressure that leads to a sack or incompletion is still positive. The Jets offensive line isn’t much better, but they held the Titans to two sacks, so expect it to be a tad bit more challenging for Robinson and company.
Is Kenny Golladay For Real?
The hype train for Golladay was in full steam on Sunday. Golladay debuted with the second team and he made a name for himself. He went up against fellow rookie cornerback Quincy Wilson and he made him look like a rookie cornerback in the NFL. Golladay finished the game with three catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns.
Kenny Golladay's caught 2 throws he had non business getting … HYPE TRAIN
— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) August 13, 2017
Golladay has risen up the depth chart after the performance, taking first team reps on Wednesday. With Golladay taking first team reps, that moves Golden Tate to the slot, something fans wanted to see as it could mean more touches and scores for Tate.
The Jets allowed 151 yards through the air last week, while Detroit put up 240 on the Colts. The Jets had 10 pass deflections as well, making the job for Detroit even tougher. The real test for Golladay would be to keep him with the first team and see how he can do against starting cornerbacks. While the Jets secondary isn’t the best in the league it can still be a good learning point for the rookie.
Greg Robinson Looks To Be The Answer At Left Tackle
Coming into the 2017 season, Detroit brought in TJ Lang at right guard, and Rick Wagner at right tackle. The offensive line was a brick wall.
That is until Taylor Decker got hurt.
Since then Detroit has been looking for a replacement for Decker, signing two former Alabama tackles, Cyrus Kouandjio and trading for former first round pick Greg Robinson. During camp, it was a battle between the two to see who would take over as the starter. After the first game of the preseason, Robinson seemed to pull away.
A look at how Greg Robinson performed in the first half tonight pic.twitter.com/HeH7uOGPui
— PFF (@PFF) August 13, 2017
Again, the Colts don’t have an impressive defensive line, but it is still noteworthy that the left tackle position might be in better hands than what was first expected. The Jets have a better defensive line than the Colts, so this can be a true test for Robinson and for him to prove that he isn’t a one hit wonder.
This game comes down to how well the offensive line can contain the pass rush. Detroit’s quarterback situation is more comfortable than the Jets and with a better-skilled receiving core, Detroit instantly has the advantage on offense. If the line can block well enough for all three quarterbacks, Detroit can win this game easily.
The defense for Detroit shouldn’t have too much of a problem as well. The Jets could only run for 56 yards on 31 carries. While the defensive line for Detroit is weak with Hyder down, they shouldn’t have too much of an issue with the Jets backfield.
Finally, the quarterback situation in New York after one week gives Christian Hackenberg the lead, going 18/25 for 127 yards. Now Hackenberg played against backups and third strings, so take what he did lightly, but the Titans depth at the defensiveback positions aren’t as good as Detroit’s.
Overall, this should be another solid win for Detroit as they impress the home crowd. Detroit wins 28 to 10.
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