A lot of things went right for the Lions during their first preseason game. Something also went very, very wrong, however.
Kerry Hyder collapsed on the field on the defense's first possession, appearing to suffer a non-contact injury to his lower leg. He had to be carted off the field and the Lions are reporting that it is a lower leg injury. That's all they'll say for now, but non-contact injuries are pretty scary stuff.
Back on the field, the Lions dominated the Colts on both sides of the ball en route to a 24-10 win.
Matt Stafford played just one possession, throwing an interception on a batted ball as he tried to hit Marvin Jones on a slant. Stafford went 2-for-3 for 36 yards and the pick.
Jake Rudock played nearly two full quarters, going 13-for-21 for 142 and two touchdowns to the day's standout, rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Golladay hauled in three receptions for 53 yards, and both of his touchdowns were impressive, as they required him to make an adjustment on the ball in tight coverage.
Brad Kaaya also saw his first action at quarterback for the Lions, going 8-for-11 for 71 yards and a fourth quarter touchdown to Dontez Ford.
Despite the injury to Hyder, the Lions defensive line was dominant throughout the game, routinely making plays in the Indianapolis backfield. A'Shawn Robinson was as disruptive as one would hope, knocking down passes and hurrying the second and third string Colts quarterbacks, as Andrew Luck sat out today's game with a shoulder injury.
Ford fights for TD
Dontez Ford took a short pass from Brad Kaaya, fought threw three tackles and dove across the goal line for a 15-yard touchdown that puts the Lions up 24-3 with 9:46 to play in the game.
Jace Billingsley set up the drive with a punt return for 15 yards down to the Colts 30.
Khari Lee reeled in an 11-yard reception from Brad Kaaya to get the Lions into the red zone.
Defense comes up big again
Jeremiah Valoaga dropped Colts quarterback Phillip Walker at the two-yard line to again put the Indianapolis offense in a hole. Two plays later, the Colts were forced to punt again.
Walker has been on the field for a while now, and trust me, he isn't having a good time. He's been sacked three times and pressured a lot more than that. With everyone saying how little depth the Lions have on the defensive line, that could say a lot about how bad this Colts offensive line could be.
Lions forced to punt
Brad Kaaya hit Keshawn Martin for five yards on third and six, forcing the Lions to punt back to the Colts as the fourth quarter gets underway. Martin will probably hear from the coaches on the sideline about how he didn't get to the sticks before settling into his space.
Kaaya's turn at QB
Jake Rudock gave way to rookie Brad Kaaya on the second possession of the second half. The University of Miami (FL) product handed the ball off on the first two plays from scrimmage, but on the third play, he found Keshawn Martin for a first down in Colts territory. A bubble screen followed for a nine-yard gain, and after the Lions first penalty came on a false start, Kaaya found Noel Thomas across the middle for a 13-yard gain and another first down. Another false start and an offensive pass interference call put the Lions well behind the sticks, so the Lions were forced to punt.
There was a good breakdown of an incomplete pass Kaaya threw where the rookie looked off defenders to open up the middle of the field. The ball went off the hands of Dontez Ford, but Kaaya looked like a veteran on that play.
At the end of the third quarter, the Lions still lead 17-3.
Lions 'D' continues to shut down Indy
The Lions defense picked up right where it left off in the first half, forcing the Colts offense into another three-and-out.
Jake Rudock was back under center to start the second half, but despite a third down completion to rookie Michael Roberts, the Lions came up just short of the sticks and were forced to punt.
Rookie Golladay stars for Lions in first half
The Lions got the ball back and Jake Rudock got Matt Prater into long field goal range, but the usually dependable veteran missed a 53-yard field goal as the clock ran out on the first half with the Lions leading 17-3.
Matt Stafford played just one possession and threw an interception.
Rudock played three possessions and threw a pair of touchdowns, both of which were to the Lions third round pick Kenny Golladay, who beat good coverage against the Colts starting secondary to get into the end zone.
Rudock was 10-for-18 for 131 yards in the first half, while Golladay reeled in three receptions for 53 yards and the two scores.
The Lions starting defensive line was disruptive in the first half, regularly making plays in the Colts backfield. But the big news will be the health of defensive end Kerry Hyder, who was carted off on the first Indianapolis possession.
The Lions outgained the Colts 244 to 86 in the first half.
Prater adds a field goal before the half
The Lions were able to get the ball down to the Indianapolis 10, but this time they were forced to settle for a 28-yard Matt Prater field goal.
The points were set up after the Lions took over at midfield and Jake Rudock scrambled for 12 yards before finding Jared Abbrederis for a 17-yard gain.
It's now 17-3 in favor of the Lions with 1:49 to play before the half.
Rudock, Golladay strike again
The Lions offense showed off a number of their second-level weapons before Jake Rudock found Kenny Golladay in the end zone for the second time today to put the Lions up 14-3.
Rudock reeled off a 13-yard scramble when a play broke down to get the Lions across midfield. Jace Billingsley showed off his quickness when he reeled in a bubble screen and raced past the first down marker, and Dwayne Washington reeled off a 18-yard run to set up the 15-yard touchdown pass from Rudock to Golladay.
Golladay now has three receptions for 53 yards and two scores.
Colts get on the board
D.J. Hayden knocked away a would-be touchdown pass on second down, but rookie Phillip Walker was able to scramble on third down to pick up a first down for the Colts inside the Lions 30. After the Colts came up empty on first and second down, Hayden had a chance to intercept the ball on third down but let it slip through his hands. Adam Vinatieri (yes, he's still kicking field goals) hit a 41-yard field goal to cut the Lions lead to 7-3 with 10:446 remaining in the second quarter.
Earlier in the drive, Walker found Troymaine Pope for a 25-yard screen pass into Lions territory.
Lions defense dominates in first quarter
The Lions defense may not have had to face off with Andrew Luck today, but they still came to play, forcing the Colts into a three-and-out on their first four possessions.
There is a lot of worry about the Lions defensive line depth, but the guys that have been playing early on have been in the Indianapolis backfield regularly. A'Shawn Robinson looks like an absolute monster on the interior and could be a candidate to have a breakout season.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lions lead the Colts, 7-0.
Golladay stars on Lions touchdown drive
After a three-and-out gave the Lions great field position at the Colts 42, Jake Rudock hit Kenny Golladay for 15-yard gain as the rookie spun out of coverage, caught the ball on the ground and still had the awareness to get up and run for the first down. Two plays later, Golladay hauled in a 23-yard third down pass from Rudock in tight coverage, giving the Lions their first touchdown of the preseason.
With 5:43 to play in the first quarter, it's 7-0 in favor of the Lions.
Hyder carted off
A'Shawn Robinson was able to tip a pass at the line of scrimmage to force an incompletion on second down, but that wasn't the big news to come out of the play, as Kerry Hyder went down in a heap on the field for a few minutes before being carted off.
The season is six-and-a-half minutes old, and the Lions already have a big-time issue with Hyder's health in question.
Out with Stafford, in with Rudock
Well, that was fast. After going 2-for-3 on the opening series, Matt Stafford was pulled from the game in favor of backup Jake Rudock.
The defense forced a quick three-and-out from the Colts to give the ball back to the Lions, and once again, the backfield made a play when Zach Zenner bounced a run outside for a 19-yard gain on first down. Rudock hit rookie tight end Michael Roberts for a seven-yard gain on second down, but the Lions were unable to keep the drive alive. Punter Kasey Redfern boomed a 53-yard punt that pinned the Colt down inside the 10.
Stafford picked off on opening possession
Ameer Abdullah took a swing pass from Matt Stafford behind the line of scrimmage, made a man miss, and scampered for 14 yards before being forced out of bounds. After a short Abdullah run, Stafford hit T.J. Jones across midfield for a 22-yard gain.
Things went a bit sideway as Stafford fired a fastball to Marvin Jones on a slant route. Stafford put the ball high, and that and that caused a bounce that landed in the arms of a Colts defender.
While the early interception is sure to get the haters rolling early this August, a good sign for the Lions had to be Abdullah's elusiveness on the game's first play.
DETROIT LIONS VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
What: First preseason game for both teams.
When: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.
TV / radio: Fox 2, NFL Network / WJR 760.