The Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving Day loss to the Green Bay Packers was more dismal the seven-point margin would show, with no area looking any good for Detroit. But, however briefly, let's shift to some positivity.
As noted by Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, with a six-yard catch in the fourth quarter on Thursday Sam LaPorta passed Hall of Famer Charlie Sanders' franchise record of 533 yards for a rookie tight end. LaPorta passed Sanders' 40 receptions from 1968 a few weeks ago, and he now has 55 catches for 539 yards and five touchdowns this season after his touchdown on Thursday.
The way LaPorta has been going, it was only a matter of time before he would start setting new Lions' records for production by a rookie tight end. Much of what he has done thus far has landed well in NFL history for a rookie tight end through "X" number of games, let alone in Lions' history. It took him 11 games to set the Lions season-long marks for catches and yards by a rookie tight end.
Sam LaPorta has one more leg left in Lions' rookie tight end Triple Crown
LaPorta has completed two legs of the proverbial Triple Crown for Lions' rookie tight ends. Catches and yards are his of course, and touchdowns are next.
An undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2013, Joseph Fauria finished that season with a Lions' rookie tight end record seven touchdowns. On just 18 receptions, for 207 yards. It is one of the most out of nowhere productive campaigns in Lions' history, and Fauria played just one more season.
The touchdown mark for Lions' rookie tight end also feels inevitable for LaPorta, since he only needs two with six games to go. As Rogers mentioned, he has a very outside shot at passing Amon-Ra St. Brown's record of 912 yards for any Lions' rookie pass catcher.
LaPorta has been what it was hoped he'd be as a rookie this year, and maybe even better than some people hoped. He was a bright spot in the loss to Green Bay, and he just happened to set another record for a Lions' rookie tight end too.