The final score in a preseason game is not the primary outcome of a team’s performance.
Before the start of the regular season, the Detroit Lions are hoping to find out who they can count on.
Even though we weren’t able to capitalize on a lot of turnover opportunities, head coach Dan Campbell and the coaching staff can develop some things that they can use over the next few weeks.
Here are some takeaways from Detroit’s only preseason appearance at Ford Field — a 27-23 loss — before Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The beginning of the attack delivers
The opening attack of the Detroit Lions took place. New offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has a lot more weapons to choose from, and they were on display at Ford Field.
Jared Goff’s first and only goal.
Fans got their first look at an offensive line that is sure to be the talk of the league this season.
What was impressive was the ease with which the striker could move around the pitch.
The coaching staff talked about wanting to throw the football more effectively, even in the red zone.
D’Andre Swift opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown after a quality block from the line of scrimmage.
Had the Falcons’ offense not lasted long, the fans would have been treated to another run that likely would have earned more points.
Aidan Hutchinson makes a great first impression
For most fans, the No. 2 overall pick was the main attraction for the trip downtown for a game that doesn’t count in the record books.
Boy, did Hutchinson do as advertised in his NFL debut.
In his first defensive series, he recorded a tackle for loss, was disruptive in the backfield and showed the kind of potential the coaching staff has been talking about all offseason.
On the second play, he was extremely quick off the ball and used an explosive first step to fly past veteran offensive tackle Jake Matthews.
The Falcons quickly deployed a double team against the rookie.
The Detroit Lions defense can only get better
Although both sides of the football are not showing their full repertoire, the problems that have arisen for the team have once again appeared in front of the Lions’ defence.
Detroit’s defense had a hard time defending against the bootleg. Rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder was also able to carve up the defense on the ground in the second quarter with two rushes for 39 yards.
One aspect of the Lions’ game that was reminiscent of last season was a penalty that negated a game-changing play.
Bobby Price led the defense in celebration after he secured what he thought was an interception. Unfortunately, the instant reflex to check the flag every time a team plays well hasn’t subsided.
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Unfortunately, veteran Jarrad Davis was called for a roughing the pass penalty, negating the momentum-changer.
Detroit had several chances to fight back, but couldn’t make the play.
Rookie Chase Lucas dropped an interception late in the fourth quarter and Ridder made him pay.
The rookie showed poise on fourth-and-9, trailing 23-20. After taking pressure off the Lions’ defense, he found Jared Bernhardt for a 21-yard touchdown that gave the Falcons a 27-23 lead.
The Lions could easily upgrade defenseman Tim Boyle
Boyle had a pretty shaky training camp in his second season with Motown. While he had a reliable deep ball to Kalif Raymond and a good throw to Devin Funches, there is certainly room for improvement.
Boyle missed several open receptions that day and made one of his worst decisions in the third quarter. Dee Alford picked it up and gave the Falcons the ball at the Lions 15-yard line.
The defense kept the Falcons from getting into the end zone, but the Falcons took a 20-17 lead midway through the third quarter after a turnover.
The famous Calif Raymond continues to be an unsung hero
Make no mistake, Raymond is a player who has earned more playing time with his play in training camp.
He played almost every time he took the field.
Not only has his speed been on display, but his big-play ability is quite intriguing.
Detroit has added several offensive weapons, and if Raymond can contribute as well, the offense’s rushing capabilities can be exploited.
With another deep reception recorded against the Falcons, Goff and Co. may have to draw more veteran plays when the regular season begins.
Malcolm Rodriguez is a rookie to watch out for
Rodriguez does not agree to a backup role.
He’s quick with the ball and even had a few touchdowns in his NFL debut.
It was surprising that Rodriguez got the nod to start Alex Anzalone against the Falcons’ offense.
While he was drafted in the sixth round, Rodriguez has not shied away from contact, and the coaching staff is clearly ready to give him additional responsibilities.
The good news is that he is quite capable of handling them.
Devin Funchess looks hungry
A player looking to make a name for himself after a break from the game came to play in a pre-season game.
Funchess caught a touchdown pass from Boyle and even blocked a defender in his debut in front of Detroit fans.
If he can find his form from his time with the Carolina Panthers, Lions general manager Brad Holmes will add a veteran who could be a big factor on offense.