Lions – 26
Raiders – 27
The Lions fall to the Raiders in Oakland, but overall this was a pretty great game for the Lions first and second teams. The first team offense scores on 2 of 3 drives, Stafford finishes 9/10 for 88 yards and 2 TD’s, with those going to Golden Tate and Kris Durham as Calvin Johnson was not playing tonight. The first team defense started off very strong and played very well in the first quarter holding Oakland to 0 points and forcing an INT to James Ihedigbo on Oaklands first drive. However, Oaklands first drive of the second quarter was marred by quite a few Lions defensive and special teams penalties that allowed Oakland to score a TD on a long drive.
The second team performed very well too. Orlovsky [8/12 for 153 yards and 1TD] overcame the criticisms that he had against him last week against Cleveland. The second team Lions Defense also performed very well, playing against Oakland first team O-Line, Running backs, and receivers, they were still able to hold Oakland to just a field goal on their first drive against them, although later in their time on the field the second team defense seemed to be playing on their heels and allowed an Oakland TD, although they still played pretty decently overall.
The third team guys played below average at best, they did force a fumble on the goal line, although the hit itself was questionable, it stopped Oakland from taking the lead with that drive, but Oakland still managed to score on our third team late in the 4th to take the lead and the win. Kellen Moore [5/8 for 49 yards] played fairly well overall, however Orlovsky did show today why he is the number 2 and Moore is the number 3. We still have quite a bit of preseason to go, so things could change there, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Penalties were still a big focus of this game though, as the Lions finished with a 11-74 penalty line, including a last minute pass interference by Nevin Lawson that kept Oakland’s final game winning drive alive. Caldwell was obviously not happy with their penalty line at halftime, and I can only imagine how upset he is after the full game. The third string guys did let the team down after great performances by the first and second units. The only other issue was the missed extra point by Nate Freese which came back to bite the Lions in the end; however Freese did his a very nice 55 yard FG at the end of the second quarter.
Hopefully the Lions can overcome the shortcomings they had tonight in Detroit next week against Jacksonville. However, overall I’d say the Lions performed very well and are showing improvements both offensively and defensively over what we saw last year which will hopefully translate well into the regular season.