The Lions won the preseason game, 33-30, but the starters looked bad. Should we be worried or is this just a case of the preseason not mattering? Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Tampa, Fla. — Here’s a quick stock report after the Detroit Lions’ 33-30 preseason victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
STOCK UP: WR Brandon Powell
The shifty wide receiver out of Florida kept the Lions’ comeback afloat with a pair of punt returns in the fourth quarter. The first, an 80-yard touchdown, showed that Powell has the top-end speed needed to outrun NFL-caliber defenders, while the second, a 15-yard effort, gave Detroit a short field for the game-winning drive. Powell also led the team with six catches for 45 yards.
STOCK DOWN: CB Nevin Lawson
It’s never good for a cornerback to be the team’s leading tackler and Lawson finished the night with eight stops in a little more than a half of work. He was routinely targeted by the Bucs quarterbacks and gave up a long touchdown pass to third-stringer Ryan Griffin.
TREADING WATER: RB Zach Zenner
Zenner carried the ball four times, converting a pair of short-yardage situations in the red zone. But on first-and-goal from the 1, he went backwards and lost a couple of yards.
STOCK UP: RB LeGarrette Blount
Blount had a decent day, averaging 4.1 yards per carry on 11 attempts, but he deserves recognition for a hard-fought fourth-and-1 conversion in the third quarter. He was hit in the backfield but still managed to power through the contact and get past the sticks.
STOCK DOWN: LB Jarrad Davis
Davis’ coverage struggles have received a lot of attention, but his pursuit angles and missed tackles are other issues he has had problems ironing out. Davis missed three tackles in the first half, including one in the backfield that resulted in a 14-yard touchdown run and over-running the quarterback when he came free on a blitz.
STOCK UP: QB Matt Cassel
The first quarterback off the bench, Cassel immediately led the Lions on two touchdown drives. He completed an efficient 7 of 11 passes for 60 yards and was able to move within a collapsing pocket to find receiver Bradley Marquez for a short touchdown.
STOCK DOWN: WR Kenny Golladay
Golladay took advantage of a busted coverage early in the game, sneaking behind the defense for a 36-yard gain. That was his only catch on the night. He was targeted four more times and dropped his second pass of the preseason.
STOCK UP: DT Ricky Jean Francois
The veteran continues to be a rare bright spot on the starting defense. He was a force from the inside of the line, tallying an impressive six stops.
TREADING WATER: QB Jake Rudock
Rudock came in late and did what he needed to do, leading a game-winning, two-minute drive. But, in doing so, he still wasn’t able to answer the biggest knock on his preseason performance — his downfield accuracy. He didn’t complete a pass longer than nine yards.