The Detroit Lions continue to sit key players and drop to 0-2 in the preseason, despite an impressive performance from their third-string quarterback.
The Detroit Lions have reached the halfway mark of the 2019 preseason. We’ll have to wait another week to see their most important player take the field, however.
The Lions continue to be cautious with Matthew Stafford and kept their starting quarterback out of a 30-23 preseason loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday. Josh Johnson, a week after signing with the team, started for the Lions and finished 9 of 18 for 85 yards and an interception.
With Stafford’s presumed backup Tom Savage sidelined by a concussion, Johnson is in contention to be the Lions’ reserve signal-caller this season. He played the entire first half and into the third quarter, but was unable to lead Detroit into the end zone.
David Fales took over under center in the third frame and led a 94-yard drive culminating in a five-yard touchdown toss to running back Zach Zenner. Fales rebounded from a nightmarish game a week ago, finishing 12 of 19 for 226 yards and one touchdown throw.
With Johnson leading the way, the Lions totaled just 112 yards of offense in the first half to 201 for Houston. The Lions were without receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, and starting running back Kerryon Johnson carried the ball only three times for 16 yards.
Lions rookie safety Will Harris returned a fumble by Texans receiver Steven Mitchell 19 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Edge rusher Romeo Okwara punched the ball loose prior to Harris’ recovery.
A one-yard Mark Thompson touchdown run pulled the Lions within 27-23 in the fourth quarter, but the offense stalled on their next drive, and a Hail Mary pass attempt by Fales was batted away as time expired.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson led a 72-yard opening drive, culminating in a 4-yard touchdown reception by receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Watson played just one series for Houston, finishing 5/7 for 60 yards and a touchdown.
The Detroit Lions continue their preseason slate next week on Friday, August 23rd at 8:00 p.m. EST, when they host the Buffalo Bills.