August 25, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure (25) runs the ball against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Lions Fall Flat in the ‘Dress Rehearsal’


Oakland Raiders 31, Detroit Lions 20 (box score)

If you’re one that likes to put stock in preseason games, I hope you didn’t watch tonight’s game. The Lions were something less than in “mid-season form” to put it nicely. The third preseason game is regarded as the dress rehearsal and the Lions did not look ready for the show to open.

Sure, there were some nice moments, Ndamukong Suh‘s pressure of Carson Palmer resulting in an interception by Willie Young comes to mind, but the Lions had several issues and the injuries suffered during the game may further deplete the team’s depth.

Starting cornerbacks Chris Houston and Bill Bentley both had to leave the game, Ndamukong Suh was seen on the sideline with a fairly sizable wrap around a knee, Matthew Stafford‘s evening was cut short due to a left hand injury, Kevin Smith hurt the same ankle he battled last year and Mikel Leshore wandered the sidelines with an abdominal wrap.

Those are a lot of important players for which missed regular season games could spell serious trouble for the Detroit Lions. The severity of each was not immediately known following the game.

We got our first look at Mikel Leshoure tonight and while his performance left a lot to be desired, we can’t be too surprised. He’s finally getting game action after missing a lot of training camp reps and the missed time definitely showed. The offensive line didn’t do Leshoure any favors by opening up running lanes but Leshoure routinely looked hesitant in the backfield. Leshoure gained just one yard on five carries.

It would be unfair to single out Leshoure for being ineffective carrying the ball because the Lions averaged just 2.7 yards per carry on the evening. It was an average boosted by two carries for 13 yards by Shaun Hill. That’s not good.

All in all, it was a forgettable night for the Lions. They were out-gained 513 yards to 281. You can bet that Jim Schwartz will have an awful lot to say to his team and this week’s practice figures to be less than pleasant.

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