It definitely wasn't pretty, but when the smoke cleared on Sunday, the Detroit Lions had their second win of the season. The Detroit Lions v. Packers: 3 Takeaways seeks to find the good in a rather sloppy game where some bright spots and not-so-bright spots showed up. Usually, this game is always a hard-fought battle and usually ends with Aaron Rogers finding a way to continue to punish the Detroit Lions. However, this was not the case in the Lions' Sunday 15-9 (U-G-L-Y) victory at Ford Field. The Lions fought hard, made enough plays on defense, and the offense did just enough to gain the win.
What are the Detroit Lions v. Packers: 3 Takeaways from the HUGE win at Ford Field?
At the end of the day, the Detroit Lions earned their second win of the season. Let's not overlook that word “earned” there because that's truly what yesterday was. They played hard and did just enough, but still nearly gave the game away. The Cardiac Cats were on full display missing a fourth-and-three and giving the Packers two minutes to try and tie the game or take the lead. But the defense stood tall, and the Lions walked out of the tunnel winners, something not felt since Week 2. Here are three takeaways from this (hopefully) season-righting win:
Kerby Joseph can play some footballhttp://gty.im/1439574325
The third-round pick has filled in nicely since Tracy Walker III has been down with an Achilles injury. He has a season grade of 74.4 according to Pro Football Focus and has been a turnover-creating machine. Through Week 8, before this game against the Packers, Joseph had 13 tackles, two forced fumbles, and was only giving up a reception in coverage 37.5% of the time. Then against the Green Bay Packers, he amassed 10 tackles (five solo), three pass break-ups–including a beauty over the middle on a deep post in the third quarter–and picked off Rogers twice, both near the endzone.
He has filled in nicely and really made a case that he can be “that dude” in this defense and has shown consistently that “ball hawk” type of play he was tapped to be out of college. He was caught with some “friendly fire” and is officially in concussion protocol, which hopefully will be cleared by this upcoming week against the Bears.
Jared Goff just isn't “that dude”http://gty.im/1244562351
Alright, at some point enough is enough right? There is no obvious replacement, and that shouldn't even be discussed at this point, but do we really believe that Jared Goff is the guy moving forward? He can't be. Sure, I know he was “missing weapons” with T.J. Hockenson traded earlier in the week and Josh Reynolds being out on Sunday. But, weapons or not, and granted they weren't great, those weapons do not excuse holding onto the ball, making inaccurate throws, and standing like a statue in the pocket leading to sacks.
Goff was a paltry 14/26 for a mere 137 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. This effort earned him his lowest grade from PFF this season. For 2023, Goff carries a $30m cap hit, and if let go would only be a $10m dead cap hit, which means that by moving on from Goff the Lions would save $20m in cap space next season. After nine games this season, and with Goff not really making a case to stay on the roster, the question has to be asked, how can the Lions potentially upgrade at the quarterback position for a potentially cheaper cost? It might take some digging, but there has to be another Geno Smith out there right?
Nice rebound for the oft-maligned defense
It's not a secret that the Detroit Lions' defense has been very bad this season. So bad in fact that it led to Aubrey Pleasant being fired earlier in the week. However, the defense this week did exactly what they needed to do, holding Rogers and the Green Bay Packers' offense to a touchdown, missed two-point conversion, and a field goal. Derrick Barnes was a madman in the first half with a sack, a pass deflection leading to an interception, and was involved in 12 tackles on Sunday leading the team.
The bend-don't-break style was never more evident than in the two goalline stops, which both resulted in interceptions, and the fourth-down stand at the end of the game to seal to victory. They are going to have their work cut out for them this upcoming week as Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears host them in their Week 10 matchup.