The Lions Defeated The Jets 16-6. Here’s How It Happened.
The game opened with the Jets receiving the football. After two runs by running back Bilal Powell totalling three yards, Christian Hackenberg was sacked by Cornelius Washington and the Jets were forced to punt. The punt was only for 40 yards though, and TJ Jones was able to return it for seven yards, setting the Lions up at the New York 43 yard line to start the game.
Detroit got off to a good start on their first offensive play as Matthew Stafford threw an 18 yard pass to Golden Tate. Stafford would get sacked two plays later though, forcing the Lions to ultimately settle for a field goal on their opening drive, making the score 3-0.
The Jets next possession was another three and out. They punted to the Lions, who also proceeded to go three and out. On the first play of the next Jets drive, Christian Hackenberg was sacked by Akeem Spence on the first play and the Jets once again failed to earn even one first down.
The Lions next possession started at their own 22 yard line. Stafford looked very good on this drive, as he completed passes of 5, 8, 16, 12 and 9 yards before the quarter ended.
Score: 3-0, Lions leading
On the second play of the second quarter, Matthew Stafford found Marvin Jones in the back of the endzone for a five yard touchdown. This ended the night for Stafford and most of the rest of the first team offense. The Lions led 10-0.
New York would finally picked up their first two first downs of the game on the next drive as Christian Hackenberg ran for 12 yards on a third and 10, the then completed a 17 yard pass to Bilal Powell on the next play. The Jets possession stalled after that though, and they were forced to punt on fourth and eight.
Jake Rudock came into the game for the first time on the ensuing Lions possession and got off to a nice start with a seven yard pass to Michael Roberts. The drive only went backwards from there though, as Dwayne Washington lost two yards and then Rudock was sacked for a loss of eight yards.
The next Jets possession was filled with penalties that pushed them back and forced a punt.
The Lions then got the ball with 6:47 left in the second quarter and had a really good possession. Jake Rudock had a run for 11 yards and completed two passes to Jace Billingsley for 21 yards. Michael Roberts also had a 22 yard reception. The Lions drive then stalled, and they kicked a field goal with nine seconds left in the half, giving the themselves a 13-0 lead.
The Jets got the ball to the end the half and just kneeled on it.
Score: 13-0, Lions Leading
The Lions received the ball to start the second half, but promptly went three and out. However, on the Lions punt, the Jets returner Frankie Hammond muffed the kick and the Lions recovered it, setting up Detroit with a new set of downs at the New York 25 yard line.
With this second opportunity, the Lions got a first down off of a 10 yard Dwayne Washington run before Jake Rudock threw an interception to Jets defensive back Corey Lemonier.
Bryce Petty came into the game for the Jets on the next possession and led them on their most successful possession of the game at that point. He moved the Jets 21 yards before the Lions defense could stop them, setting up Ross Martin with a 56 yard field goal attempt. However, the kick was missed, setting the Lions up at their own 46 yard line.
The Lions went three and out on the next drive, giving the ball right back to New York. The Jets got two first downs before they had to punt, and then the Lions had to punt on their next possession.
The Jets got the ball with 1:44 left in the third quarter and were able to pick up one first down before the quarter ended.
Score: 13-0, Lions Leading
The Jets drive continued with Bryce Petty completing 23 and 13 yard passes to Myles White for first downs. The Lions defense tightened up in the redzone though, forcing the Jets to settle for a field goal to make the game 13-3.
Brad Kaaya checked in as the Lions quarterback on the next drive and led them on a seven play drive that actually netted a loss of three yards because of penalties.
On the next Jets possession, a 28 yard pass interference penalty by Josh Thornton moved them into field goal range, where the Lions defense again tightened up. Ross Martin made a 28 yard field goal to make the game 13-6.
The Lions were set up in good field position for their next drive as Keyshawn Martin’s 43 yard kickoff return set them up at their own 38 yard line. This would be one of the Lions’ most balanced drives of the game, as Tion Green ran for a first down and Brad Kaaya converted a third and nine with a 10 yard pass to Jared Abbrederis. The Lions had to settle for a 50 yard field goal attempt, and Matt Prater made it.
The final Jets drive started with 1:04 left in the game. Bryce Petty did a good job of moving the ball down the field, as the Jets earned 50 yards in six plays, but on the seventh play of the drive he threw an interception to Lions safety Rolan Milligan in the endzone.
The Lions then kneeled on the ball with five seconds left, ending the game.
Final Score: 16-6, Lions win
Matthew Stafford was 8/10 for 80 yards and a touchdown
For the most part, Matthew Stafford looked very sharp against the Jets. He completed all but two passes, and both of his incompletions were dropped, although they probably could’ve been a little more accurately thrown from Stafford. His ball placement wasn’t perfect on all of his throws, but he made some great passes to Golden Tate and Marvin Jones.
The Jets were 4 of 13 on third down conversions, the Lions were 3 of 13
Neither team was able to do a lot on third down, which resulted in each team punting six times and attempting three field goals. The Lions third down defense looked good, but their offense looked equally bad on third downs. If the defense can play this well in the regular season, that will be a very good thing. The offense needs to improve though.
Each team was sacked 3 times
The Lions pass rush was not as dominant as it was in Indianapolis a week ago, but it was still alright. Two of the sacks were from the first team defense, one coming from Akeem Spence, the other from Cornelius Washington. The Lions first team offensive line looked good in pass protection – the only sack of Matthew Stafford was the result of a missed block by Ameer Abdullah.
The Lions committed 9 penalties
The Lions had nine penalties which cost them 85 yards. The Lions won this game, but it is typically very hard to win when you commit this many penalties. This cannot carry over to the regular season, or else Detroit will be in trouble.
The Lions won the turnover battle 2 to 1
Detroit won the turnover battle, which is generally a good indicator of who won the game. The Lions recovered a muffed punt from the Jets and made a game sealing interception, while only turning the ball over once themselves. The interception that Rudock threw was a terrible decision by him though, and he will need to learn from it.
The Lions averaged only 2.6 yards per rush
The offensive line did not look good at all when it came to run blocking. All of the backs were consistently hit in the backfield before they even had a chance to make a play. This kind of a team rushing performance will not lead to many regular season wins.
Plays That Made The Game
Cornelius Washington’s sack of Christian Hackenberg set the tone of the game early. On this first third down of the game, Washington came in unblocked and put a huge hit on Hackenberg, forcing a fumble that the Jets would ultimately recover. Hackenberg had a very bad night, and it started on this play.
Akeem Spence’s sack of Christian Hackenberg was also a very encouraging sign for the defensive line. Spence is expected to split snaps with A’Shawn Robinson and Haloti Ngata this season, but if Spence can keep shedding blocks like he did on this play, he will see lots of playing time this year.
Matthew Stafford’s 16 yard pass to Golden Tate was a very accurate throw, and a good catch by Tate. Stafford faked the handoff to Abdullah and found Tate on the sidelines off of the comeback route. Tate stayed in bounds and made the reception, resulting in a really nice play for the first team offense.
Matthew Stafford’s 5 yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones was a perfect pass. Despite being hit hard, Stafford put the perfect amount of touch on the ball, and Marvin Jones did a great job making the catch and dragging his feet in bounds.
Jace Billingsley’s first reception of the game may have increased his chances of making the team. it initially looked like it was going to be a one yard reception, but Billingsley showed some great moves, breaking one tackle and making two other Jets miss before he was finally tackled after the first down marker.
Michael Roberts’ 22 yard reception was a great play from the rookie out of Toledo. Roberts caught the contested pass about 15 yards down the field and was then able to run for some extra yards before being stopped. If Roberts keeps making plays like this, he may have a role on the offense in the regular season as a rookie.
Jake Rudock’s interception was a very bad throw from the first year quarterback. He was trying to throw a checkdown to Dwayne Washington, but was pressured and threw off of his back foot. The pass was directly to the Jet covering Washington, and the pass was easily intercepted and returned a long way.
Bryce Petty’s pass to Myles White for 23 yards was probably the best play for the Jets offense in the entire game. Petty lobbed up a pass for White, who was running a wheel route. White made a really good back shoulder reception against Lions cornerback Jamal Agnew, and the Jets had one of their biggest plays of the night.
Tion Green’s first down run was one of the Lions most promising running plays of the night. Green did a great job of finding a running lane, accelerating through it, and then breaking a couple tackles at the end to get past the first down marker. Green needs to keep up the good work if he wants to fight his way onto the 53 man roster.
Rolan Milligan’s interception could go a long way in earning Milligan a roster spot. With only five seconds left in the game and the Lions leading by 10, Bryce Petty decided to just lob up a pass into the endzone. The pass was nearly caught by the Jets, but Milligan did a great job of stealing the ball out of the receivers hands and securing it for a game ending turnover.
Player Of The Game
Matthew Stafford is this weeks player of the game. He played for the entire first quarter and about a minute into the second quarter. Stafford led the Lions on two scoring drives, including the only touchdown of the game. Stafford looked very sharp, completing 8 of 10 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown to Marvin Jones.
Stafford looked completely in control of the offense on Saturday, just like he has since Jim Bob Cooter took over the offensive coordinator position. The game against the Jets serves as a reminder of how important it is to sign Matthew Stafford to a contract extension sooner rather than later. With Stafford in the game, the Lions got 10 points in less than 16 minutes. Without Stafford, they mustered two field goals in almost three quarters. Stafford is the most valuable player on the Detroit Lions.