All three facets shine in Dan Campbell’s first preseason win as Detroit Lions coach

Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images /

Players from all three facets helped the Detroit Lions leave Indiana with their first preseason win under head coach Dan Campbell.

The Detroit Lions ended their trip to Indiana to practice and play the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. They did so in winning fashion, with a 27-26 victory. It was their first preseason in Dan Campbell’s two as head coach.

Unlike after an NHL game, we could declare more than three stars for this game.  But here are three Lions who particularly stood out against the Colts.

Detroit Lions get outstanding showings from players in all three facets vs. the Colts

Maurice Alexander shines in return game

Alexander consistently put the Lions in positive field position to start drives, as he returned four kickoffs for 152 yards with a long of 61.

Credit Lions general manager Brad Holmes for picking up Alexander, who was a standout return man in the new USFL, early this month. With regulars Godwin Igwebuike and Kalif Raymond not returning kicks, Alexander has had an opportunity to shine in both preseason games.

Line paves way for offensive standouts

The competition for backup spots on the Lions’ offensive line took a turn toward competitive with the starters resting on Saturday. Detroit’s running backs spearheaded a ground game that put up 174 yards on 5.3 yards per carry, led by Justin Jackson with 54 yards on seven carries (long of 21 yards).

Wide receiver Trinity Benson caught four passes for a team-high 44 yards. Tight end Shane Zylstra caught five passes for 34 yards. Preseason star Tom Kennedy continured his push for a roster spot with five catches for 24 yards and two touchdowns.

John Cominsky, Kerby Joseph and Austin Bryant standout for the defense

Defensive lineman John Cominsky, trying to make his own case for a roster spot, led the Lions defense with six tackles (two tackles for loss) and one sack. Safety Kerby Joseph followed up last week’s performance with five tackles against the Colts. Edge rusher Austin Bryant continued to work his way off the roster bubble with three tackles (one tackle for loss) and one sack.

All in all, it was a refreshing and satisfying preseason victory for the Detroit Lions. The preseason finale is next Sunday, Aug. 28, against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh.

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