The Detroit Lions chalked up their first win of the 2022 season with a 36-27 victory over the Washington Commanders on Sunday. While the team is deservedly still celebrating the first of what we hope are many victories this season, it takes a diligent hack like me to keep the players on their toes. A win is good, but the Lions will still be seeking improvement as they head into an NFC North matchup with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3. Here are 3 studs and 3 duds from the Week 2 victory.
3 Studs and Duds from Detroit Lions win over Commanders
3. A Beat Up Offensive Line
Expectations were less than high with the news that the Lions would be without three starting offensive linemen before the game on Sunday. However, the next-man-up mentality proved to do wonders for the guys who were left to do the job. The tallest starting guard in NFL history, Dan Skipper, made his first professional start in a position he hadn’t played since college. Backup Center Evan Brown and Logan Stenberg gave everything they had as Brown was solid in pass block, while Stenberg held his own in the run block. With the anchors of Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell holding it down at tackle, this unit deserves praise for piecing together an all-around solid performance from a single unit.
2. Aidan Hutchinson
The 2022 first-round pick had heard it all after his debut game didn’t go according to plan. Hutchinson must have heard all the Twitter birds talking all week as he showed why the Lions took a chance on him. Hutchinson tallied not just the first sack of his career but added two more as well, breaking the rookie sack record in a single game for the Detroit Lions. If an annoying injury wouldn’t have bothered Hutch, there’s no doubt in my mind the young stud would have grabbed at least one more before the final horn.
1. Amon-Ra St. Brown
Nobody was taking the number one stud spot away from Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown has been a touchdown-making, Sun God Praising, son of a gun since strapping on the cleats for the Lions. St. Brown scorched the Commanders’ defense, grabbing 2 TDs on 9 receptions that also netted him 116 total receiving yards. The Sun God is no longer an under-the-radar receiver around the league, and he wants everyone to know it.
3. T.J. Hockenson
I hate to be the guy to rain on parades. Especially after such a fun victory, but even with a win, the team is always looking for improvements. A guy I wouldn’t expect to make the dud list too many times this season lands on after his Week 2 performance. That would be T.J. Hockenson. Something looked off with the timing between Jared Goff and Hockenson the entire game. The two connected on three separate occasions for just 26 yds. Hockenson is also still looking for his first visit to the endzone this season. I tend to believe this slump will not last much longer.
2. D.J. Chark
D.J. Chark was a part of the Week One dud list, as the first-year Lions receiver was involved in the wide receiver unit earning a dud for dropping passes in Week One. This week Chark didn’t even make the stat sheet as he finished the game with zero receptions. Any time a starting receiver has a big fat zero next to his name, it’s never good news. While not everything was Chark’s fault, as Goff missed him in what could’ve potentially been a big touchdown reception, Chark has to find ways to involve himself in the offense.
1. Logan Stenberg
Another member of the Week One dud list Logan Stenberg finds himself as the number one dud this week. Stenberg has filled in twice for an injured Halapoulivaati Vaitai and has been less than feasible in pass block. Stenberg posted the worst PFF grade of anyone on the Lions’ offensive unit and scored a 4 in pass block efficiency. The Commanders brought Goff down on three separate occasions. This has to be shored up by Stenberg if Vaitai isn’t going to be seen in action soon.