Thu, 21 Jan 2021

TIM AND MIKE: Week 1 observations

Detroit Lions
15 Sep 2020, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman & Mike OHara

Three safeties: The Lions used a heavy three-safety package in Sunday's 27-23 loss to Bears. Duron Harmon played 100 percent of the defensive snaps (65), with Tracy Walker playing 83 percent (54) and Will Harris 80 percent (52). Some of that could be attributed to Detroit losing two of their top three corners in the game, but the coaching staff has talked about how they liked the talent and depth at that position heading into the season. - Tim Twentyman

Up front - defense: Having one sack wasn't the only stat where the Lions were deficient up front against the Bears. A lack of penetration in the run game allowed the Bears' backs to cut back for extra yards. That was evident in their average of 5.3 yards per carry, with 28 carries for 149 yards. - Mike O'Hara

Up front - offense: The Lions' offensive line passed its first test, with rookie Jonah Jackson starting at right guard and backup Tyrell Crosby in at right tackle. The Lions rushed for 138 yards on 29 carries, with an average of 4.8 yards per carry. - Mike O'Hara

Shorter passing game: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford averaged 7.1 air yards per completion against the Bears, according to Next Gen Stats, which was his lowest with Darrell Bevell as his offensive coordinator, and over a full yard below his average of last year (8.3). Chicago's defense made sure they kept everything in front of them as best they could. Stafford missed deep threat wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring), too. - Tim Twentyman

AP, AD: In the first game of his 14th season, running back Adrian Peterson looked like he could have played as his nickname indicates - All Day. He had 93 yards rushing, an average of 6.6 yards per carry and three receptions for 21 yards. The obvious question is how long he can maintain that production. Who's going to bet against him? - Mike O'Hara

Rookie playing time: Lions rookie wide receiver Quintez Cephus played 79 percent of Detroit's offensive snaps against the Bears. Among rookie receivers, only Dallas' CeeDee Lamb played more (84 percent) through Sunday's slate of games. A big reason for that was the absence of Golladay, but Cephus has been trending up, and he showed some good things, along with some rookie moments. He was targeted 10 times, more than any other Lions receiver, and caught three passes for 43 yards. - Tim Twentyman

Quiet Zone: It was too quiet at Ford Field Sunday. There has to be a way to pump up the volume for the next home game vs. the Saints. - Mike O'Hara

Picking up where he left off: Defensive end Trey Flowers was Detroit's top defender the second half of last season, and he picked up right where he left off. Flowers was graded as Detroit's top defensive player vs. the Bears, per Pro Football Focus, finishing with four tackles, three quarterback hurries, a sack and a forced fumble.

His sack was the only one recorded by the defense. He was one of just three Lions players with more than one quarterback pressure (Romeo Okwara, 4 & Julian Okwara, 2) on the day. - Tim Twentyman

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