Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay makes his presence felt in his season debut.
As the Detroit Lions searched for their first win of the 2020 season, they had a major weapon return to the starting lineup. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay was back in action and made an impact immediately, including a touchdown just before halftime.
While the Lions were moving the ball well and putting points on the board in Week 1, they had a little more trouble against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2. Golladay joining the offense helped open things up as he and receiver Marvin Jones form a double deep threat on each side of the field.
A legitimate threat, Golladay was targeted seven times and made six receptions and led the team with 57 receiving yards. His 9.5 yards per reception doesn’t seem that scary until you look at how it opened up the field for the rest of the offense, not to mention what it has done for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Here’s what Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press wrote about Golladay’s impact in the team’s first victory of 2020.
“in his return from a hamstring injury, the Lions’ No. 1 receiver showed why he’s such a valuable part of this offense. With his favorite target back in the fold, it’s no coincidence that Matthew Stafford played his first turnover-free game of the season.”
Golladay presents an entirely different dynamic that defenses need to account for that was sorely missed in the first two weeks of the season. Back on the field, Stafford appeared more comfortable throwing the ball around. Even when the protection broke down, he didn’t try to do too much and took the sack instead of forcing a throw.
Now, we’re not going crazy here. There were many receivers who had better days and put up better stat lines. But for this Detroit Lions team that was looking to turn things around after stumbling out of the gates in the 2020 season, Golladay’s return was just what the doctor ordered.
The Lions are hoping Golladay can duplicate his effectiveness from last season when he led the league in touchdown receptions with 11 total and caught 65 passes for 1,190 yards. He’ll have a bit of an uphill battle after missing two games, but 1,000 yards receiving is still a very real possibility for the rest of the season.
If the offense can keep it together and avoid performances like the one they put together against the Packers, then there’s enough firepower to keep them in games. But to keep on winning, these Detroit Lions might need to keep things rolling on the defensive side of the ball.