Detroit – After taking a closer look at the Detroit Lions’ second exhibition game, a 30-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, let’s examine some players who helped themselves, hurt themselves or are treading water.
Stock up: RB Dwayne Washington
After his electrifying kickoff return in the opener, Washington was given additional opportunities with the offense against the Bengals, including some second-team snaps in the second quarter. The final stat line, six carries for 22 yards, isn't going to blow anyone away, but the seventh-round draft pick ran with conviction, picking up yardage after contact on multiple carries. His five-yard scoring run near the end of the game was the only time the Lions managed to find the end zone all night.
On special teams, Washington had his return role scaled back while the team looked at some other options, but he downed a punt inside the 5-yard line. He was also the first man down the field in coverage on another punt, but blew the tackle opportunity. It was one of his few mistakes on the night.
Stock down: QB Dan Orlovsky
Orlovsky came into the contest with a sizable lead in the backup quarterback competition, but he certainly didn't do anything to put away rookie Jake Rudock. The veteran made a baffling mistake against the Bengals, holding on to the ball too long before throwing into coverage. The result was an interception returned 60 yards for a touchdown, his second pick-six of the preseason. Later, Orlovsky misfired on a deep throw to an open Andre Roberts that would have set the Lions up inside the 10-yard line.
Orlovsky finished his night 8-for-14 for 83 yards and the interception and was booed by the fans at Ford Field as he exited the game.
Holding steady: OT Taylor Decker
After some glaring struggles in pass protection against the Steelers, Decker cleaned up his technique in the second exhibition game, playing a big role in quarterback Matthew Stafford's clean pocket through the first quarter. Unfortunately for the rookie left tackle, he was less effective as a run blocker. He badly whiffed on a block during the opening drive, on second-and-goal from the 5-yard line, allowing Cincinnati defensive end Carlos Dunlap to drop running back Theo Riddick in the backfield.
Stock up: DT A’Shawn Robinson
Robinson got off to a slow start, but quickly got on track as a difference-maker in the second half. The rookie defensive tackle finished with two tackles, including one for a loss, and also batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. But as football fans know, a defensive tackle's true value rarely shows up in his stat line. Robinson was consistently disruptive, pushing the pocket on pass plays and redirecting the Bengals' backs on multiple carries.
Stock down: DE Kerry Hyder
All in all, Kerry looked good on film. He generated some pressure off the edge, even recording a hit on backup quarterback AJ McCarron. But the young defensive end showed poor judgement and a lack of self-control when he set his sights on popping McCarron a second time. The problem with the hit is it came well after the quarterback had got rid of the ball, drawing a 15-yard infraction and giving the Bengals an automatic first down when they would have been punting from deep in their own territory.
Holding steady: LB Tahir Whitehead
Whitehead had some really strong moments in the contest, recording five tackles, including a no-gain stop on a third-and-short running play. But the linebacker also had some inconsistent moments, showing hesitation in the second level while eyeing the backfield, allowing himself to get squeezed out of the lane by an offensive lineman.
Stock up: WR Andre Roberts
Roberts continues to make his case for a roster spot, showing off his versatility by catching two passes for 12 yards, taking an end-around for a gain of eight, returning both kickoffs and punts and working on the coverage units. His stat line would have looked more impressive had Orlovsky not misfired on a long pass over the middle where the receiver had clear separation.
Stock down: RBs George Winn and Stevan Ridley
Winn was a non-factor in this one, losing a yard on two carries. He did successfully convert a fourth down at the end of the contest, but the play was negated by a holding infraction. And Ridley continues to primarily operate with the third-team offense, leading to questions about his ability to make the roster. He ran OK, including a 10-yard gain, Detroit's longest of the night, but without increased opportunities it's becoming tougher seeing him as part of the team in September.