Detroit Lions Struggle Mightily in Preseason Opener

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 08: David Fales #8 of the Detroit Lions runs with the ball against New England Patriots during the preseason game at Ford Field on August 8, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 08: David Fales #8 of the Detroit Lions runs with the ball against New England Patriots during the preseason game at Ford Field on August 8, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

It was anything but a good night if you are a Detroit Lions fan. Although the Lions played horribly; remember it’s just preseason.  Also, a few crucial pieces didn’t play, but it’s still indefensible to lose 31-3.

As the Detroit Lions took the field, the excitement was flowing through Ford Field.  Football is finally back, well, sort of.  It was only a preseason game and the first of four.  Not too many starters played for either team, especially on offense.

The ultimate tease last night was Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady meeting at midfield for the coin toss, both in pads. Both franchise quarterbacks would not take a snap.  Although the Lions won the toss as Stafford was trotting back to the sideline, he strapped up his helmet as though he was going to play the first series of the game, but it was Tom Savage who jogged onto the field.

It wasn’t long into the game before the most devastating injury of the preseason occurred.  Newly signed wide-out Jermaine Kearse was rolled up on while blocking.  He suffered a broken leg, and it included an apparent ankle injury.  A member of the Lions training staff immediately ran onto the field and covered Kearse’s leg with a towel before an air cast was secured.

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Kearse was expected to be a depth wide-receiver that knows Darrell Bevell’s playbook.  He was going to be a valuable fourth or five wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. The injury opens the door for others including Tommylee Lewis, Brandon Powell, Chris Lacy & Travis Fulgham.  Expect the Lions to also sift through some free-agent options.

Quarterback Tom Savage was forced to leave the game shortly after the calamitous injury to Kearse.  Savage completed 2/3 of his passes totaling 40 yards.  Savage threw a beautiful ball to Brandon Powell for 24 yards.  Savage was sacked three times; two came on back to back plays that ended his night.

Savage has a history of concussions; he was belted after Tyrell Crosby missed a block and Kenny Wiggins did the same.  Savage hit his head on the turf and took an inadvertent knee to the helmet immediately after the sack.  Savage left the game; he gave way to David Fales, who didn’t look good at all.  Savage never returned to the sideline after the injury. It’s never a great thing to have the last name Crosby while in the city of Detroit.  That didn’t change last evening as Lions offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby allowed at least three sacks.  He was flat out terrible.

Jamal Agnew looked fine in coverage except when he was locked up man to man with rookie wideout N’Keal Harry.  Harry used his massive frame in his favor as he made a nifty grab over Agnew on a go route down the sideline. Agnew had a missed tackle early and quickly made up for it by breaking up a pass on third down to end an early drive for the Brian Hoyer led offense. Agnew wasn’t amazing in coverage but didn’t do anything to hurt his stock.

Patriots undrafted rookie receiver Jakobi Meyers caught a pair of touchdown passes one beating Miles Killebrew the other he beat Mike Ford badly on a crossing route.

I’m hard-pressed to find many positives last night to be completely honest. I’m not even sure that the Detroit Lions crossed mid-field with their offense.  That’s clearly an exaggeration but other than their lone scoring drive which was a field goal they didn’t do much of anything with David Fales at quarterback.  Is Fales really the best option available to compete with Savage? Man, Connor Cook who the Lions cut early in camp must really be bad in the film room because he’s certainly not a worse QB than Fales–he can’t be.

Next. Position Battles to Watch in Preseason Week One. dark

We’ll end sort of a negative post on a bright note. Rookie running back Ty Johnson showed some fantastic burst.  He looks like he could be a tremendous change of pace back for the Detroit Lions this year behind Kerryon Johnson & C.J Anderson.