The Detroit Lions began their 2023 preseason with a dramatic turnaround. Despite a tepid start, the Lions stormed back to clinch a 21-16 victory over the Giants, thanks to a dynamic punt return from Maurice Alexander and a formidable defensive performance. A few insights from the evening's encounter:
5 Instant Takeaways From Detroit Lions 21-16 Win Over Giants
- The Detroit Lions NEED Teddy Bridgewater: If you watched tonight’s game, you know exactly why I have been BEGGING since February for the Lions to sign Teddy Bridgewater to be the backup quarterback for Jared Goff. To put it nicely, backup QB Nate Sudfeld struggled mightily against the Giants, and there is no way that he, not the Lions' other quarterback, Adrian Martinez would keep the ship sailing if Goff were to go down with an injury.
- The Rookies WILL make a HUGE impact in 2023: Detroit's fresh draft class stepped up with confidence and flair. Jahmry Gibbs dazzled with his agility, while Brian Branch made his mark with astute defensive plays (Click here to watch Branch DESTROY Cole Beasley). Jack Campbell, the first-round draft pick, did not disappoint either, presenting a compelling argument for the team’s faith in him. Though tight end Sam LaPorta did not have a great game, he has shown out during camp, and he should play a big role in the Lions' passing attack this coming season.
- Jameson Williams MUST improve his hands: There has been plenty of talk about Jameson Williams and how he does not have great hands, and that talk is warranted. Tonight, against the Giants, Williams used his speed to get open for a long pass, but when Nate Sudfeld threw a perfectly placed ball, Williams let it go right off his hands. JAMO absolutely must continue to work to improve his pass-catching abilities because dropping a ball like that in a regular season game could be costly. With that being said, he did make a very nice one-handed 2-point conversion catch in the third quarter.
- The Lions' defense DOMINATED: Yep, you read that correctly, the Lions' defense dominated on Friday against the Giants. To be fair, the Lions were not playing many starters at all, and neither were the Giants. With that being said, there were plenty of Lions’ defenders who stepped up and helped win the game. Some of the Lions' defensive players to stand out were Brian Branch, Jack Campbell, Julian Okwara, Romeo Okwara, and John Cominsky. (Honestly, I could name more)
- Maurice Alexander says, ‘Don’t You Forget About Me!’: Earlier today, the Detroit Lions announced they have signed WR/PR Kalif Raymond to a two-year contract extension but it was Maurice Alexander who was the star punt return man on Friday night. Alexander took a punt back 95 yards for a touchdown, and to say it was amazing would be an understatement. Though he still has plenty of work to do to make the 53-man roster, Alexander’s big return sure does help his cause.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Nate Sudfeld underwhelms, highlighting need for strong backup QB.
- Rookies, especially Jahmry Gibbs and Brian Branch, shine bright in debut.
- Maurice Alexander makes a statement with stunning punt return.
Bottom Line – Young Lions Ready to Pounce
The Detroit Lions victory over the Giants was more than just a preseason win. It was a showcase of the team’s future potential. The Lions are nurturing their young talents and integrating them into their game plan. As these rookies continue to mature and gel with the veterans, the Detroit Lions could soon be roaring louder and prouder than they have in years. The anticipation for the regular season has never been higher.