What we can learn from the Detroit Lions preseason opener
By Robert Jones
The exhibition season isn’t completely without merit
Many fans wait anxiously for the preseason to begin just because it is the first opportunity to see their favorite team in action. The problem comes when we read too much into it.
For instance, Jared Goff has received much praise throughout O.T.A’s and training camp so far. Every practice we keep hearing about how accurate he is. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t mean anything if Jared doesn’t get the job done in the regular season.
In the exhibition opener, the Lions will host the Buffalo Bills, their long-time preseason foes. There are many variables that will determine if we can actually find anything of value to take out of this game.
The Bills have turned into a very good team. From quarterback Josh Allen to an aggressive, talented defense, this is a franchise that will be a contender for the AFC crown.
Meanwhile, the Lions are expected to be bottom-feeders this season with many pundits penciling them in to vie for the first pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
With questions at receiver, a defense that is being brought back from the dead after having no pulse under Matt Patricia, and the ultimate puzzle of whether Jared Goff can be their quarterback of the future, this is a team that seemingly has no chance against the Bills.
However, if Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott decides to rest his starters and the Lions starters do well against the Bills bench, that would mean nothing. The same would be true if Buffalo’s starters beat up on Detroit’s bench.
Just because players have strapped on the pads and tightened up their helmets doesn’t make this game a real litmus test.
As a matter of fact, with the expected usual ‘vanilla’ defenses used in the preseason as well as offensive play-calling that is mostly geared towards seeing certain players in certain situations, it makes for contests that do not show a team’s true essence.
But that doesn’t mean that the exhibition season isn’t completely without merit.