Friday night’s game went down to the wire as third-string quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Matt McGloin, burned the Lions secondary for a come from behind 27-26 victory and the Raiders first lead of the night.
Matthew Stafford and the rotating first-team offense completed three series in their second preseason game. The Lions looked great at times, mediocre minutes later, and overall had far too many penalties, although the referees seemed inconsistent all night.
The Lions were dominant in the first quarter, with Stafford throwing 9 of 10 for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. Golden Tate scored first with a 28-yard touchdown catch on the second play of the game. Kris Durham caught the second Lions touchdown on the very next drive, surely helping his stock in the receiver competition.
The first-team defense initially included C.J. Mosley in for Nick Fairley, who had been practicing with the second-team defense all week. The defense was solid closing the running lane while the secondary found the first turnover of the night.
The turning point for the Lions came after a 4th and 2, when a Raiders field goal was traded in for a first down after George Johnson failed to get off the field, resulting in a 5-yard penalty. The drive went on to result in a touchdown for the Raiders and a change of momentum in the second quarter.
Theo Riddick is the real deal and I’m officially convinced after one play. The hype surrounding Riddick all of training camp was confirmed with one impressive screen play for 36-yards. The running back situation got interesting with George Winn having another solid night and seeming to share time later in the game with Mikel Leshoure
Although I thought Winn stood out ahead of Leshoure, Michael Rothstein from ESPN stated that the Lions are already financially invested in Leshoure.
FWIW (and I still think Leshoure makes the team at this point), if the #Lions cut him, ESPN Stats & Info has his dead money at $242,060
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 16, 2014
A silver lining in the Lions second-team secondary came off a massive hit from safety DeJon Gomes, who leveled Raiders tight end Scott Simonson, forcing a fumble to be recovered by the Lions. Both players left the game for medical examinations but had walked off the field under their own power.
Despite this play, which will probably be reviewed for a potential fine, the Lions secondary struggled towards the end of the game. During the last two drives, the Lions played Jonte Green and Mohammed Seisay, both in competition for a cornerback roster spot. Neither played terrible, but Seisay was beaten on the sideline a few times while Green lost his man on the final touchdown pass of the game.
Nate Freese, the starting kicker, missed a 33-yard extra point, only to make up for it with a 56-yard field goal later in the game. Freese might still be the starter, but let’s not forget the Lions only lost the game by a single point.
The Detroit Lions next preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars will be held next Friday 7:30 p.m. ET.