Found August 10, 2013 on The Detroit Sports Site:
The Detroit Lions opened the preseason with a largely unimpressive 26-17 win over the New York Jets. Here are four positives and four negatives from the game. First Down: Getting Ziggy with it There was a lot of concern over the ability of Ezekiel Ansah to perform in real game action. A first round draft pick, Ansah has a lot of pure athleticism but not a lot of real experience in football. Well, you couldn’t tell Ansah had only played a few years of football Friday night, snagging a Mark Sanchez pass and running it back for a defensive touchdown on his first series. He would finish the night with two tackles, one of them for a loss.  Fourth Down: Defensive fundamentals Lions fans have heard it before, the defense lacked fundamentals in their play. Even though the Lions starters were playing with several injuries, the guys who saw the field consistently lost containment, lost receivers and missed tackles. The Jets were given extra yards consistently throughout the night and Tahir Whitehead fell down twice, which allowed the Jets to find the end zone the second time it happened. It is just one game, but the defense is still young and learning. It is the second part which is concerning, as the defense needs to cut out the bad habits now. First Down: Devin Taylor forces fumble, earns sack Taylor is a beast size-wise, but no one expected him to be this good on the field this quickly. Using his huge frame, he fought off the tackle and was able to strip the ball from Greg McElroy and create another defensive turnover. With the defensive end opposite Ansah up for grabs, Taylor may have pushed himself into the starting competition after a nice showing in the defense on Friday. Fourth Down: First team offense lacks continuity Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense played two series and neither one of them was fantastic. The Lions signal caller was only three of eight passing for 58-yards and all of those stats were courtesy of Calvin Johnson. While the Stafford-to-Johnson connection is going to be a big part of the Lions offense, it would have been nice to see the offense be able to run between the tackles or utilize some of their other weapons better. First Down: Reggie Bush’s High Jump Perhaps the best play of the night came from Reggie Bush who took the ball from Stafford and looked to run up the middle, but the run blocking broke down. Bush cut it to the right side and looked to get around the edge before hurtling a Jets defender to pick-up some yardage. This play shows just what the Lions are getting out of Bush, a playmaker, who had three carries for five yards on the night. Fourth Down: Run blocking Larry Warford was drafted to take over the right guard spot and solidify the right side of the offensive line. While the Lions pass blocked decently for Stafford, the run blocking was atrocious. There was almost no space to run up the middle and allow the many backs Detroit has in camp to find any space. Almost every successful run was completed by fighting through tackles or bouncing it outside. If Detroit wants to to run this season, they better start working on the blocking in camp. First Down: There is a real kicking battle going on Both David Akers and Havard Rugland kicked well for the Lions, with Rugland kicking for the first time in real game action ever. Akers made all four of his kicks, two field goals and two extra points, while Rugland made both field goals he was brought on to attempt. While Rugland kicked two long field goals, 49 and 50 yards, Akers still has the edge on the competition until Rugland can show he can do it consistently. Fourth Down: Darius Slay fails to make it on the score sheet Slay, the Lions’ second round pick, started opposite Chris Houston on defense but dd not make an impression. Now, maybe that is a good thing as it means he might not have made many mistakes, but the reality is it also means he failed to make any plays. Even though Slay is coming off of an injury and this is just the first game, it would be nice to see some flash out of him on the field.
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