No Hock? No Problem.

On 4th down, Rodgers flew the ball up into the air and it was caught for a huge first down by 7th Round WR Samori Toure, only for him to almost lose the ball out of bounds. Lions fans were ready for another defeat, another game where they threw it away time and time again. Aaron Rodgers then threw 4 straight incompletions, and Goff kneeled out the game to bring Detroit their 2nd win of the season.

Obviously, this season has been a disappointment for a Lions team that, on paper, has improved immensely from the roster of last year. Injury luck and questionable coaching calls may be holding back the potential of the Lions, but that doesn’t excuse the record by any means. Even on a day when Aaron Rodgers threw 3 interceptions, the Lions still tried to throw the game away in the 4th quarter. It was a classic Detroit game, with great plays and near heartbreak all bundled inside 4 quarters of play. However, disregarding the emotions inside the game, the Lions walked out with a win! The biggest surprise of this game was the tight end play from the now-promoted backups to former Lion TJ Hockenson. Without Hockenson, the Lions had 3 completions to their tight ends, Mitchell and Zylstra, for 2 TDs. It was a surprising performance, but one that we might be able to expect in the near future, especially for 5th Rounder James Mitchell. While many Lions fans were upset to see the fan-favorite Hockenson get traded away, I personally see it as a good thing for the Lions. Holmes gets to use his hand-picked playmakers, while we trade away a player (who we weren’t gonna pay) for a handful of picks that we can use later on. In fact, I could see the Lions use the Rams’ pick and 2nd rounders to possibly grab another Top 5 or 10 player in the next year’s draft. It might be wishful thinking, but Holmes had a strategy going into last year, so these picks have a greater purpose here.

Another rookie that really made a splash was Kerby Joseph. Joseph is a player I have always been high on, even listing him in my article about Holmes’ best draft picks. It is amazing to finally see him make huge plays against one of the most efficient QBs the NFL has ever seen in Aaron Rodgers. Joseph came up huge with 2 interceptions on the Green Bay QB, both of which were inside the Detroit 20, nullifying what should have been at least 6 guaranteed points. Even our top defensive rookie Aidan Hutchinson put up an amazing interception catch of his own, dropping into coverage on David Bakhtiari and laying out for a big 4th down pick. The defense left a lot to be desired, but they showed up in some crucial moments forcing huge turnovers on some of the best.

The game’s result is all that matters in the end, and the Lions currently sit at the bottom of the NFC North with a pitiful 2-6 record. I am hopeful that down the stretch we can pick up some wins, hopefully riding on the back of new standout safety Kerby Joseph, and the turnover-heavy defense. However the Lions do it, wins will be wins.
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