Death, taxes, and the Detroit Lions being booed off of the football field. That is exactly how the organization and new regime were greeted by the Detroit faithful Sunday afternoon exiting the playing surface down 31-10 to the 49ers. After nearly completing a tremendous comeback, the Lions fall 41-33 in the season opener.
Although patience will be needed during this rebuild, all we can ask for is hope as fans. Hope is exactly what the Detroit Lions provided their fans in the second half of Sunday’s opener.
Sunday was a tale of two stories. It reinforced that rebuilds absolutely suck. Also, regardless of what the Lions brass prefer to call this season, it’s clearly a rebuild. But I will say, this team under Dan Campbell will not quit, and that in itself is admirable.
Also, we can safely confirm that starting quarterback Jared Goff is nothing more than a bridge-quarterback until the Detroit Lions draft, who they hope is their eventual franchise signal-caller at some point over the next two seasons. Goff can be released after next season without much salary repercussion. The cost in 2023 is $10 million in dead cap, plus $5 million in 2024.
That being said, the Detroit Lions have not done Goff any favors. Aside from T.J. Hockenson, Jamaal Williams, and D’Andre Swift, the Lions don’t have much help for the 26-year old quarterback on offense.
Sunday was always expected to be tough sledding for the Detroit Lions. The 49ers are expected to be a Super Bowl contender despite playing in the leagues’ toughest division.
The Detroit Lions defense seemed to be on roller skates for the majority of the football game. The defensive front failed to get any sustained pressure on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Even with Raheem Mostert injured early on in the ball game, rookie Elijah Mitchell stepped in and gashed the Lions’ defense.
Detroit’s no. 3 overall pick from just a year ago, Jeff Okudah, struggled mightily in the season opener. Lions defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasent was caught on the sideline laying into the young corner in the first half after he caught inside on a run play to his side that ended with a Mitchell 38-yard touchdown. Later in the second half, Okudah was burnt badly on a 79-yard Deebo Samuel touchdown reception. Safety Will Harris was also in a position to help on the play but seemed lost as Samuel cruised past both after making the catch.