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Detroit Lions Late August Scouting Report
James Hintz

Game 2: Texans 30, Lions 23

Game 3: Bills 24, Lions 20

QB: Seems like the new trend is to rely on the reps received in joint practices rather than play in preseason games, so QB Matthew Stafford sat again in game 2. He played into the second quarter in game 3 and looked fine. There had been some uncertainty because of the time off he was given earlier in camp, which led to rumors of a possible injury or back issues carrying over from last year. He went 12 of 19 for 137 yards and a TD. He will be a solid backup in most fantasy leagues. Newly signed QB Josh Johnson started game 2 with QB Tom Savage (concussion) out. Johnson had some struggles as you would expect. QB David Fales had a better showing in game 2 than he did in the first game. Neither Johnson nor Fales did much to impress in game 3, and Savage remains out. The battle to be Stafford’s backup is up in the air as we head into the fourth preseason game.

RB: We saw a brief appearance from RB Kerryon Johnson against Houston, and while his stats (3 carries for 16 yards) didn’t blow anyone away, he showed the abilities that have me excited about what he can do this year. He made another cameo appearance against Buffalo, got 3 touches, and called it a night. The Lions won’t overwork him but this offense is going to be centered on the ground game. Kerryon should be able to perform up to his fantasy draft position. Keep an eye on the injury to C Frank Ragnow, as he left the game against the Bills with an ankle sprain that could linger into the start of the season. Ragnow is a good run blocker. It still looks like RB CJ Anderson and RB Zach Zenner will be in line behind Kerryon on the depth chart. RB Ty Johnson caught a TD pass against the Bills which was nice to see. He has some serious speed, but I don’t expect him to do much unless one of the other guys gets hurt.

WR/TE: Fifteen different players caught at least one pass in each of the last two games as the Lions try to sort out the depth chart. WR Kenny Golladay almost had a TD catch against the Bills but he was ruled out of bounds. WR Marvin Jones played briefly in game 3 so whatever injury he had been battling seems to be fine. WR Danny Amendola looked OK as the slot receiver with 3 grabs for 30 yards against Buffalo. WR Travis Fulgham (6th round pick) was making a push for a roster spot after a nice game in Houston (3-52) which included a circus catch, but he lost a fumble late against the Bills. One other note with the receivers, the Lions had Dontrelle Inman in for a visit but he signed elsewhere. Rookie TE TJ Hockenson had a nice 22 yard catch and run against the Texans where he showed he has decent speed in the open field. He followed that up with 3 grabs for 52 yards against the Bills. Definitely encouraging for his long term stock. I still don’t think he will put up big numbers as a rookie though.

K/DST: The Lions defense generated two turnovers against the Texans, including a scoop and score. Other than that it was not an impressive performance. They had two more turnovers against the Bills, but the big story was the injury to MLB Jarrad Davis. It looked ugly but they have said it is not season ending. This is a blow to IDP leaguers as Davis is an every down linebacker. PK Matt Prater nailed a 49 yard field goal against the Texans and then hit a 61 yard bomb on the last play of the half against the Bills. He should be in for another solid season. Coach Patricia chose to go for it twice against Buffalo rather than attempt field goals, but I think when the regular season starts he will revert to being conservative in those spots and kicking field goals.

Next up for the Lions will be the preseason finale against Cleveland, followed by the cut to 53 and the regular season opener against the Cardinals.


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