Matthew Stafford’s opening drive in the Detroit Lions vs Indianapolis Colts game showed a need for improvement on offense, as well as some promise.
In an opening drive that leads to flashbacks of some of the worst aspects of last year, Detroit Lions‘ quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s offense showed they still have some work to do before the new season begins. The drive included three first downs, and a solid run by running back Ameer Abdullah before a pick was thrown from midfield. Ending Stafford’s appearance in the game.
The kick return was taken by running back Dwayne Washington, who is in the mix with cornerback Jamal Agnew and wide receiver Keshawn Martin for the return job. In play similar to former Lions wide out Andre Roberts from last season, Washington ran the ball out of the end zone to the 12-yard line where he got brought down by the Colts. This was an issue last year, where the team lost a lot of possible yards starting their drives because the ball was brought out of the end zone rather than taking a knee and getting the 25 yards.
The first play for Stafford showed his ability as he took the ball in the shotgun, looking through his reads down field he finally dumped the ball to Abdullah who was open in the backfield. Abdullah gained about five yards before juking a Colts defender and cutting up the field for a 14-yard gain. Looking like a healthy feature back, Abdullah showed on that play that he hasn’t lost any ability after his injury that took him out for the majority of last season.
The Lions then go no huddle for their next three plays. The first resulting in a two yard run by Abdullah. The second play was a deep through by Stafford to wide receiver T.J. Jones for 22 yards, getting pushed out of bounds at the 50-yard line. Jones is in his third year with the Detroit Lions and is fighting to keep his spot on the roster. During the open practices of training camp, he was spotted on the field early warming up with safety Don Carey.
The final play of the opening drive resulted in an interception of a Stafford throw. As the pocket started to collapse, he tried to force a throw to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. in a slant route. The ball zipped through the air and hit Jones Jr. in his hands before hitting the defenders helmet and popping up into the air. The Colts were able to grab the ball as it fell.
While the first drive for the first team offense showed some promise, the result was a interception which is not a good look for the Detroit Lions’ first preseason game of the season. Hopefully, Stafford and Jones Jr. can get some more reps together in practice this week so these quick passes can result in a completion. Abdullah’s contribution to this offense looks to be a major weapon, as long as he can remain healthy.