The Detroit Lions opened the preseason with a win over the Cleveland Browns. Could they keep the good times rolling on the road against the Raiders in their ossifying baseball stadium of a football field?
The starters got more playing time in this game, and Matthew Stafford made the most of it. After the Lions got a turnover early, Stafford hit Golden Tate for a 28-yard touchdown. Nate Freese missed the extra point, but bear in mind that this preseason extra points are over 30 yards, because the NFL is experimenting and stuff. If you ever needed a reminder that preseason doesn't really matter, this is it. Anyway, Stafford then connected with Kris Durham for a 4-yard score on a nice drive, and the Lions led 13-0 after the first quarter.
Oakland responded with a touchdown and a field goal, but before the half Freese hit a 55-yard field goal, so he made up for the missed extra point. The Lions struck first in the second half, with preseason hero George Winn scoring a touchdown. He won't make the team, but he's getting some airtime at least. I mean, Theo Riddick set up the touchdown with an impressive 36-yard run and catch, the kind that will make him make the team, as opposed to Winn.
Derek Carr then got the Raiders into the end zone with a touchdown pass, and Sebastian Janikowski added a field goal. Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a field goal to make it 26-20, and the Lions were looking good for a win. Then, Matt McGloin threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Seabass hit the extra point, and the Raiders won 27-26. Freese's extra point miss ended up costing the Lions, but it also kept them out of overtime, so I'm cool with it.
Look, I am not going to get too frazzled because a third-string quarterback threw a last second touchdown. The Lions' backups, particularly in the secondary, had issues, but they are backups. Some of them won't even make the team. Early on, Detroit was looking good, moreso on offense. Stafford went 9-for-10 for 88 yards. Ryan Broyles made a couple good catches. Eric Ebron, Detroit's first round pick, also had a couple nice catches, and finished with two receptions for 37 yards. Everything I was looking for I saw, pretty much. Maybe the team could use some more pass rush, but Ziggy Ansah didn't play. Also, this team probably won't be good at rushing the passer.
Next week, we'll probably see more of Detroit's starters when they play Jacksonville. Maybe Calvin Johnson will even play. However, this week, despite the loss, all is well. There are no extended extra points in the regular season.