NFL Preseason Week 1 Game Recap: Detroit Lions 21, New York Giants 16 | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics


The Detroit Lions and the New York Giants got their preseasons underway with a close-fought encounter that saw Detroit prevail by a 21-16 score.


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Offensive spotlight: The Detroit Lions would have been expecting big things from Jameson Williams heading into his second season before he landed a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy. That suspension doesn’t kick in until the regular season, though, so the Lions got him as much work as they could in this game. Williams played 25 snaps and didn’t cover himself in glory. He dropped a deep pass when he had managed to get a step on the defender and the ball was well delivered. Overall, he caught just two passes for 18 yards but went some way toward redeeming himself with a nice one-handed snag on a two-point conversion.

For the Giants, quarterback Tommy DeVito had a nice game, completing 15 of 24 attempts for 155 yards with one touchdown and a late interception that torpedoed his overall numbers. The undrafted rookie out of Syracuse certainly showed some ability.

Defensive spotlight: Lions rookie safety Brian Branch picked up in NFL preseason where he left off in college, looking like one of the best defenders on the field. Branch’s best play was tracking Cole Beasley across the field and burying him with a big hit just after the ball arrived, dropping the receiver for a loss on the play on first down. Branch played 16 snaps, 12 of which were in coverage, lining up in the slot and performing much the same role as he had in college.

Rookie spotlight: The top Lions rookies all played a similar number of snaps, with Jahmyr Gibbs providing perhaps the most interesting spotlight given the discussion about what his role in the offense will look like. He was on the field for 18 snaps, and all 18 came in the backfield lined up as a running back, as opposed to any creative work split out wide or in the slot.

Gibbs made a nice play in the passing game, scoring a touchdown on his one target. He also made a really nice tackle on an interception return after the ball fluttered due to pressure, though the Lions will be hoping that isn’t a significant part of his game.

Offensive line spotlight: Multiple potential starters on the offensive line saw extensive time for the Giants in this game. The unit that started the game each played 32 snaps before giving way to the second stringers, and those five players featured a mix of obvious backups and presumed starters.

Rookie John Michael Schmitz was excellent in pass protection and more inconsistent in the run game. Guard Ben Bredeson had a similar performance, and right tackle Matt Peart — who has been drawing good reviews in camp as he fills in for Evan Neal at right tackle — had more of a rough game across the board, losing a couple of reps around the edge in pass protection.


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