The Detroit Lions held off a second-half comeback from the Washington Commanders to win a thrilling game by a score of 36-27 on Sunday.
What a difference a week makes. Scratch that, what a difference a half makes. The Detroit Lions kicked the Washington Commanders up and down Ford Field for the entire first half on Sunday. The defense allowed just one first down on the way to a commanding 22-0 lead at the break.
In the second half things came unwound a bit, but Detroit was able to hold on for a 36-27 win to move to 1-1 on the season.
The stark contrast in the two halves of this game serves as a reminder of how far this team still has to go. But the Lions’ resilience showed, while their young core delivered big plays necessary to secure the win.
Let’s get into some grades for a Lions win in Week 2.
Detroit Lions Week 2 report card
Run offense: 4/5 stars
In Week 1, the run game started off hot with a huge D’Andre Swift run en route to 181 yards on the ground. That trend continued against Washington but in a slightly less efficient way.
Detroit ended up with 191 yards on 8.0 yards a carry, which sounds super efficient. But over 100 of those yards came on just two plays. A 50-yard run by Swift, and an Amon-Ra St. Brown 58-yard run off a jet sweep.
Without those two huge plays, Detroit had 83 yards while averaging just 3.7 yards per carry otherwise. That can be excused with all three interior offensive line starters being out due to injury. So while the run game was very good, it wasn’t quite what it was in Week 1.
Pass offense: 3/5 stars
The stats are a little receiving looking at the Lions passing attack on Sunday. Jared Goff threw for 256 yards with four touchdowns as he posted a 121.7 QBR. However, there were also a number of throws Goff missed in this one when he had someone open.
The biggest example was early on, whuch let to a turnover on downs in the red zone. On third-and-goal Goff missed an open St. Brown by pushing the throw too far. On the next play he overthrew DJ Chark, who had his defender boxed out. There were also a few notable misses when targeting T.J. Hockenson, as that connection seems a bit shaky early in the season.
But credit where credit is due, the pass offense as a whole was very solid in this game. Some critical plays late in the game helped Detroit maintain the lead.
Best offensive player: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
Yet another incredible game for St. Brown in his young career, and this one put his name into the record books.
Nine receptions, 116 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. Just for fun he added two rushes for 68 yards. Put simply, that is absolutely incredible production from St. Brown.
St. Brown clearly stated how he wanted to improve after he got the ball in his hands this season. His improved ability in the open field was certainly on display against Washington.
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson had some creative ways to get St. Brown the ball, which we got a taste of when Johnson took on a bigger role in the offense’s construction late last season. Between jet sweeps, motion and route concepts, St. Brown is being used everywhere in this offense. He is a Swiss Army knife and has continued to be the most reliable weapon Goff has.
Worst offensive player: WR DJ Chark
Chark wasn’t necessarily bad, as he had a few opportunities for big plays. It just wasn’t his week, and that’s going to happen sometimes in this offense when everyone’s healthy.
But any time you have zero catches, it stands out. And Chark was a non-factor as the Lions offense scored 34 points and put 425 yards.