The Detroit Lions defeated The Green Bay Packers in a divisional clash 15-9. Marking the second win of the season, The Lions moved to just a 2-6 record on the year. While expectations were not remarkably high as far as the win total goes for the 2022 Detroit Lions, many were hoping to see how the young cornerstone pieces would play throughout the season. Here are some of the rookies who shined in the week nine victory over The Green Bay Packers.
Kerby Joseph may have not only been the best player on The Detroit Lions’ defense on Sunday, he was the best player on the field. The rookie totaled ten tackles, three passes defended, and two interceptions on Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. The first interception came on a goal line stand, after a ball ricocheted off of Charles Harris’ helmet into Joseph’s hand, with the second being a phenomenal play by the rookie, picking off Aaron Rodgers on what would have been a touchdown to tight end Robert Tonyan. Joseph was flying all over the field on Sunday, and has now forced four turnovers in the last three weeks. The third round pick out of Illinois has been an absolute ballhawk for a poor Lions defense, and has posted the second highest PFF grade of all safeties throughout the 2022 season, second to Tampa Bay’s Antoine Winfield. Joseph’s breakout day was so impressive, that it earned him the NFC Defensive Player of The Week award from The NFL. Joseph’s day was unfortunately cut short after a scary hit from teammate Jeff Okudah landed him in concussion protocol. Joseph was thankfully able to walk off the field on his own after the hit, and Coach Dan Campbell has hinted that Joseph may be able to return from concussion protocol as early as Sunday’s game against The Chicago Bears.
Hutchinson may have not gotten to the quarterback very much in week nine, but he made his presence felt after a goal line interception against Aaron Rodgers. The interception was the first of Hutchinson’s career, and came off a botched under throw from Rodgers. Hutchinson recovered the ball in the endzone for a touchback. Hutchinson’s four and a half sacks on the season leads all rookies, along with fourteen pressures and twenty tackles. The second overall pick hopes to make a strong case for the Defensive Rookie of The Year award in the second half of the season.
James Mitchell and Shane Zylstra
Following the blockbuster trade of Lions tight end TJ Hockeson to The Minnesota Vikings, there was a large void to fill at the position. Hockenson had been one of the main pass catchers on The Lions offense, and his target share would be up for grabs. Brock Wright appears to be the next man up at the position, but it was rookies James Mitchell and Shane Zylstra who each caught a touchdown in week nine. Zystra’s touchdown and lone reception came from a one yard stunt to give The Lions an eight point lead going into halftime. Meanwhile, James Mitchell also caught a three yard pass from quarterback Jared Goff in the fourth quarter, to put the Lions up by nine. According to PFF, Mitchell was The Lions’ highest graded offensive player despite the minimal statline. Going forward, we predict that veteran Brock Wright and James Mitchell will share the majority of the reps at tight end, but we are excited to see if Mitchell will be able to step into the role that Hockenson left when he was traded.