Negatively picking apart the Detroit Lions 26-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers is easy. After all, several of the team’s most starters didn’t play. That’s the catalyst behind Saturday night’s butt-whipping.
And make no mistake about it. While the Lions lost by six points, this game was uneven from the start.
Jared Goff wasn’t throwing to his receivers. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams didn’t get any carries. There was no Trey Flowers, Romeo Okwara, Michael Brockers, Jamie Collins, Alim McNeil, or Alex Anzalone on the defensive side either.
A ton of players were missing.
Despite that, Dan Campbell said something to reporters last week, something I held kept in the back of my mind. The Detroit Lions head coach stated that he and his coaches would dial up the game preparation and planning this week. And maybe they did. Unfortunately, if Campbell and his staff did, the players didn’t execute.
The Detroit Lions looked terrible on both sides of the ball.
David Blough has to be the No. 2 QB behind Jared Goff.
Tim Boyle, who got the start at QB, played a game that he’ll undoubtedly want to forget. He finished 7 of 15 for 44 yards. At one point during this stretch, Boyle only completed two passes in eight attempts. He constantly missed targets.
There were several plays in the first half that stuck out like a sore thumb. Boyle threw a couple of passes to rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown that were flat and short.
He did not showcase the skills he displayed in his training camp practices. In a perfect world for the Detroit Lions, Tim Boyle won’t take a meaningful snap at all this season. Because if so, that would mean something happened to Jared Goff or David Blough, who played well after taking over for Boyle.
Blough finished 12 of 17 for 144 yards and one touchdown, connecting with undrafted rookie Javon McKinley. With Boyle suffering an ankle injury last week, it was shocking to see him get the start, especially after the team signed Jordan Ta’amu this week. Despite that, he did. And that will probably be his last start of the preseason.
On Friday, the Lions will face the Indianapolis Colts at home for the final game of their preseason. And as they gameplan for this one, expect to see less of Tim Boyle.
Craig Reynolds has one thing in his favor no other Lions player does so far this preseason.
The Detroit Lions have to trim their roster to 80 players by 4 p.m. on Tuesday. As they prepare to make some difficult (or not so difficult) decisions, don’t expect Craig Reynolds to be one of those cuts. For the second week in a row, Reynold surely had to impress his coaches.
He finished with five carries for 29 yards. He’s the only Detroit Lions player with multiple touchdowns this preseason.
For a guy who has barely been with the Lions two weeks, he’s making the most of his “8 Mile” moment. In 11 carries this preseason, he’s averaging 7.1 yards. As mentioned in Saturday’s Roar on Woodward Report, the Detroit Lions have a promising running back unit. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams will be the workhorses. And Jermar Jefferson has shown flashes of being a nightmare for defenses. However, the Lions still need more than those three guys to produce out the backfield.
Craig Reynolds is showcasing he can be that guy.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.