Saturday, August 10, 2013
Preseason Week 1: Fun night for Lions
By Kevin Seifert
Reviewing Friday's action at Ford Field:
Detroit Lions 26, New York Jets 17
Preseason record: 1-0
Of interest: The Lions couldn't have asked for a better start from rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who snagged a Mark Sanchez pass on the second series of the game and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown. (To be fair, defensive linemen Willie Young and C.J. Mosley helped bust up a screen play, and Sanchez should have grounded the ball.) Ansah also had one tackle for loss in playing a total of 20 snaps. … New safety Glover Quin just missed a pick-six himself; Jets tight end Kellen Winslow dislodged the ball as he ran by. … Two of the young players competing for the Lions' third linebacker job appeared to make mistakes in the early going. Tahir Whitehead missed a tackle against Winslow, who went on to a 24-yard gain. And Travis Lewis might have been the player who busted coverage on Jeff Cumberland's 26-yard touchdown reception. … There is no doubt you'll hear plenty about Havard Rugland, aka "Kickalicious," after he converted field goals of 49 and 50 yards in the second half. But it was a strong night of kicking all around for the Lions' new-look special teams. Veteran David Akers also was good on both attempts, from 47 and 35 yards, and rookie punter Sam Martin averaged a net of 43.7 yards on three punts and had touchbacks on all three kickoffs. … It's vital for a rookie to get repetitions, and the Lions made sure to get right guard Larry Warford a game-high 53 snaps. That means he played about three-quarters of the game after replacing starter Dylan Gandy.
Local coverage: Ansah on his touchdown, via Kyle Meinke of Mlive.com: "When I caught it, I was like, 'Oh wait, the ball is in my hands. I've got to go that way. I just did." … Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press: "It was a good start for the young man, but let's not stamp his ticket to Canton just yet, shall we? Detroit is an overly reactionary sports town -- to both positive and negative developments." … Rugland was so excited about his first field goal that he forgot he had to kick off afterwards, writes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News. … Young had another good preseason game, leaving us all to wonder whether he is ready to translate that production to the regular season. Carlos Monarrez of the Free Press explains.
Up next: Thursday at Cleveland Browns