The Detroit Lions won their first preseason game over the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 24-10. We’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves, but overall, this was a good start to the 2017 campaign for Detroit. Head coach Jim Caldwell and his staff have plenty to be happy about.
Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday’s game, in no particular order.
Rudock and Kaaya were phenomenal
Jake Rudock completed 13 of his 21 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. He proved to be effective when scrambling outside of the pocket as well. Rudock has clearly put in the work to get better in the off-season, and it is showing.
Brad Kaaya was everything as advertised. He finished with 77 yards through the air and a touchdown pass. He showed tremendous poise for a rookie quarterback and great pocket presence.
Overall, the coaches have to be pleased with the performance from the guys behind Matthew Stafford. The battle for the back-up quarterback will be a story to follow through the preseason, though it is still Jake Rudock’s gig to lose.
Losing Kerry Hyder is a huge blow
Defensive end Kerry Hyder left the game in the first quarter due to an apparent achilles injury. The Lions are already thin at the defensive end position as Ezekiel Ansah and Cornelius Washington didn’t play in today’s game because of injury.
Hyder led the team with eight sacks last season, and his production will be missed if he truly is out for the entire season.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, that appears to be the case.
It’s time to start buying into the Kenny Golladay hype
Kenny Golladay had the best game out of anyone for the Lions, though Rudock is certainly in the conversation. The Lions rookie receiver made two spectacular catches in the end zone and looked extremely comfortable adjusting to the NFL game. Golladay finished with three catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns in his first game.
The third-round pick from Northern Illinois could very well be the redzone threat the Lions have been looking for since Calvin Johnson retired and his development will be something to watch throughout the season. If he can prove to be a threat, Golladay will see a lot of action in 2017.
The Lions play their next preseason game on August 19 at home against the New York Jets. Look for a lot of the starters to play more than just a series or two on Saturday.