Despite injuries, the Detroit Lions offense puts on a clinic in a Week 2 win over Washington

Despite injuries, the Detroit Lions offense puts on a clinic in a Week 2 win over Washington

Most of the Detroit Lions were still celebrating the first victory of the season, thumping 36-27 of the Washington Commanders, in the locker room as the first player walked into the postgame media room.

Jared Goff threw four touchdown passes. Amon-Ra decided St. Brown holds team and NFL records for catches and consecutive games with a touchdown reception. Overall draft pick No. 2 Aidan Hutchinson became the first rookie in organization history to record three sacks in a game.

But none of them were the first to meet the media.

Instead it was offensive lineman Dan Skipper, the 6-foot-9, 330-pound squatter practice longtime of the world to get cut on the last episode of HBO on “Hard Knocks,” who strolled in for the first time.

“This is new,” he opened with. “(But) that’s what this gig is all about. Show up every day, put on your hard hat, go to work and good things happen.”

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTIONInstead of losing again as hope dwindled, Detroit Lions show growth and beat Commanders

WELCOME TO THE SHOWThere’s no party like Aidan Hutchinson’s sack party for the Detroit Lions in the win over Washington

Skipper showed up on the interior of the offensive line, which was not expected to happen due to injuries piling up this week.

The Lions’ starting and center guards – Jonah Jackson (finger), Frank Ragnow (groin, foot) and Halapoulivaati Vaitai (back) – were all out for the Week 2 contest, leaving only two-fifths of the Lions’ expected starters healthy organization in the Week. 2. So, offensive line coach Hank Fraley began changing his combinations.

September 18, 2022;  Detroit, Michigan, United States of America;  Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell (58) shakes hands with linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (44) as he takes the field for an offensive play against the Washington Chiefs during the second half at Ford Field.

September 18, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, United States of America; Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell (58) shakes hands with linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (44) as he takes the field for an offensive play against the Washington Chiefs during the second half at Ford Field.

The skipper, usually a tackle, was lifted from the practice squad and inserted at left guard.

Evan Brown, who started 12 games in Ragnow’s place at center last season, took over Ragnow’s place at center again. Logan Stenberg, who got his first career start in the season opener in place of Vaitai at right guard, once again put that spot down.

“The way we are as a group and as a room, I think everyone is ready to step up when their number is called and whenever they are needed,” said Brown. “Guys play multiple positions and, you know, you lose a guy here, we shuffle them around, you throw a guy in there and we’re going to do it.”

The Lions, including Fraley, often talked about the competition at almost every position group during the season. But although the coach said that his room was deep, he admitted early in the training camp that there was a clear “top five.”

From the performance on the field on Sunday, it was hard to tell that this was not that group. The Lions put up 36 points, marking the third week in a row (dating back to the 2021 final) they have scored at least 35. This is the longest regular season streak for the franchise since they made it four times past the end of the game. 1952 season and early 1953.

Goff was 20-for-34 for 256 yards and four touchdowns, with the third-best passer rating (121.7) of his Lions tenure. The rushing attack was even stronger – 24 carries for 191 yards, with an average of 8 yards per attempt.

“We’re all the others up,” said Skipper. “We’re not the chosen ones, so to speak, but at the end of the day, we go out there and win, and that’s all that matters.”

Four different Lions had at least one carry of 10 yards or more – St. Brown, Craig Reynolds, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. St. Brown and Swift broke a rush for more than 50. Swift said he was proud of the line and the way they worked together, adding that the offense will only go as far as the line takes it.

“Together as a group, the cohesiveness is built,” said Brown. “Whether it was me being up for the games last year or preseason working with the guys. … We know each other well and how we work together.”

The Lions’ line wasn’t entirely in shambles due to injury: their first-round picks in 2016 and 2021 — left tackle Taylor Decker and right tackle Penei Sewell, respectively — were reservations at tackle, . After the media spoke to Brown, Sewell chimed in with his comment: “That’s right, Evan Brown is the (expletive) man!”

He wasn’t the only one, as the line only allowed two sacks after the game’s opening drive.

While the lack of healthy offensive linemen drew skepticism from outside observers — the Lions went from 3½-point favorites in Las Vegas to underdogs after the final injury report — Sewell said none were among the linemen.

Not only did they believe the line would continue without missing a beat but “that was to be expected.”

He added that the three backups helped the Lions go into the game together, because they have cohesion from training camp and practice. After that, it was about getting comfortable with the supports.

“We just had to work together,” Sewell said. “And we did that.”

There were plenty of positive moments in the Lions’ first win of 2022. But Sewell’s favorite probably slipped under the radar among them.

“For me personally, he was going to see Dan Skipper on a play run, he was going to his side and by the time he finished, he was all the way to the right side,” Sewell said with a laugh. . “I was like, ‘Skip, how are you all the way here?’ then I was like, ‘Yeah, that means he ran off the ball and pushed a guy all the way across the line of scrimmage.”

This article originally appeared on the Detroit Free Press: O-line backups play seamlessly in Detroit Lions impressive performance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.