The Lions are 2-0 and looking like a real contender in the NFL. We discuss what the hot start means.
East Rutherford, N.J. -- Ziggy Ansah is coming off the least productive and most disappointing season of his young career. His productivity significantly hampered by an ankle injury suffered in Week 2, he labored through lingering discomfort, finishing with just two sacks.
Limited this offseason by a knee injury, which took away his training camp and ability to participate in the preseason, many wondered if the former Pro Bowler would once again be limited by his ailing body, or if he would return to form.
Ansah answered those concerns emphatically in the Lions' 24-10 victory over the New York Giants on Monday night, besting his 2016 sack total in a single night by dropping Giants quarterback Eli Manning three times as part of a six-tackle performance. The amazing part, Ansah needed just 28 snaps to cause his havoc.
The Lions continue to not push the gas pedal to the floor with Ansah, but the workload was also limited by the efficiency of the defense, which frequently held the Giants to short possessions, as well as the effectiveness of his team's ball-control offense, which won the time of possession battle by more than five minutes.
Here are some additional observations from the snap count report:
- For the second consecutive week, safety Miles Killebrew played a personal-high number of snaps. He was on the field for 42 plays, many as a fill-in for injured stater Tavon Wilson. That's a big jump from the 29 snaps Killebrew played in the season-opener.
- With a focus on establishing the run, the Lions' trio of tight ends got plenty of work in the victory. Both Darren Fells and Eric Ebron played at least 40 of the team's 62 snaps, while rookie Michael Roberts got a nice bump in playing time, working 17 snaps.
- Alex Barrett continued to pull double-duty, taking the field twice as a fullback on offense and working 11 more plays as a rotational defensive end.
- The cornerback timeshare between Nevin Lawson and D.J. Hayden shifted heavily in Lawson's favor. The starter out-snapped his backup, 38-18.
- And even though Ameer Abdullah maintained a healthy advantage in usage, the backfield playing time split between him and Theo Riddick was near even. Abdullah played one snap more than his teammate. Dwayne Washington picked up the scraps, playing seven snaps before leaving the game with a quad injury.
- Rookie Jalen Reeves-Maybin made his debut on defense, first replacing Paul Worrilow in the team's three-linebacker sets, and later Jarrad Davis, when the first-round pick exited with a concussion.