Although the game did not end in the Lions’ favor, there were several bright spots in this game. I would like to highlight some of those while also pointing out a couple of players that can play on a higher level. Nothing is set in stone and all of the players can bounce back but these are game-by-game evaluations, not season or career judgments.
RB D"Andre Swift:
Swift had the best game of his career on Sunday. Racking up 175 yards from scrimmage along with a touchdown. He really stood out on Sunday and is up for NFL"s air and ground award for the week. Swift when making the first defender miss made a couple of huge plays that helped the Lions find the endzone on the drive. Swift put the league on notice as teams commit to more men in the box to stuff Swift that would open up some passing lanes for Goff in the future.
RT Penei Sewell
Sewell was a wrecking ball moving linemen out of the way at will in the run game. He more than held his own in his pass blocking as well not allowing Goff to be sacked. Sewell has what it takes to be a blue chip RT for many years and a major building block for the Lions during their rebuild. If the Lions can hit on more of their draft picks with this kind of player we could see them In the playoffs sooner rather than later.
LB Malcolm Rodriguez
The rookie took over “Hard Knocks" and started his career on a great note. Rodriguez had a solid start to his rookie season with a couple of clutch tackles preventing first downs. He did struggle a little bit on coverage allowing a reception on each of his three targets but those totaled 12 yards. The Lions may have found a long-term answer at one of the LB positions, it"s too early to tell that but he is off to a great start.
CB Jeff Okudah
Held both of the receivers he covers to almost nothing. Okudah was as lockdown as it gets on Sunday with a tremendous performance. He was targeted nine times and only gave up two receptions for 17 yards. Coming off a major injury and having a tough assignment he answered the call.
DE Aidan Hutchinson
Hutchinson was difficult for me to find during the game. Yes, it was his first-ever game in the NFL and the Eagles have a great offensive line, but the Lions" second overall pick comes with high expectations. I have no doubts about his future but for week one he finds himself on this side of the list.
QB Jared Goff
Goff did not have as bad of a game as most have said, but he did miss some throws on his own but his wide receivers did not help him with six drops on the day. That being said Goff did not have a good game and found himself on this list by his own merit, he just did not do as bad as most on social media have made him out to be. There is no QB controversy, this is Goff"s team he just needs to step up which i think he will next week vs Washington.
TE TJ Hockenson
Hockinson had a poor game for one of the better tight ends in the league. He"s playing for a contract extension and had a few missed blocking assignments one of which led to his running back being tackled for a loss behind the line of scrimmage. He extended his route on a blitz and had a miscommunication with Goff which lead to a pick-six for the Eagles.
I hope you enjoyed my Lions game review featuring my weekly "Studs and Duds", follow me on Twitter for more great content @Gullett_James
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