A look at the Detroit Lions who stood out for good reasons and those who stood out for bad reasons on Friday night.
RB Reggie Bush - This is a pretty great stat line: two carries, 95 yards, one touchdown. Bush showed that he's still pretty fast on an 86-yard touchdown run, and he gave the Lions' starters their only touchdown of the game.
WR Ryan Broyles - Broyles had 44 yards on three catches, all of which came on the same drive. He was stuck playing with the second-string offense, but he again showed why he should be playing with the No. 1 offense going forward.
LB Tahir Whitehead - Whitehead got the start at strongside linebacker, and he had a pretty incredible game: 10 tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss. You can only take so much from one game, of course, but Whitehead looked better on Friday night than Ashlee Palmer has all preseason. Not only could this performance elevate Whitehead ahead of Palmer on the depth chart, but with Kyle Van Noy sidelined because of an injury, Whitehead may have put himself in contention for the third starting spot at linebacker.
RB Mikel Leshoure - Leshoure broke off a 30-yard run, but he followed it up by fumbling the ball away to the Jaguars on the very next play. Generally speaking, he didn't show much outside of that long run, and I just don't see him making the team at this point.
RB George Winn - I also don't see Winn making the team after he had his second lost fumble of the preseason. He did score a touchdown later in the game, and he continued to show promise on special teams, but you can't afford to turn the ball over multiple times in the preseason when you're on the roster bubble.
K Giorgio Tavecchio - Late in the fourth quarter, Tavecchio finally had a chance to attempt a long field goal in an actual game, and he pushed the 51-yarder wide right. The kicker competition isn't going to be decided by one kick, but he really could have used a make on that considering his preseason opportunities have been so limited.
Lions' discipline - The Lions finished this game with 15 penalties for 131 yards. I know players are still adjusting to the awful new rules, but the Lions were beyond sloppy in the penalty department on Friday night. They have to stop shooting themselves in the foot.
Ndamukong Suh's checkbook - On a related note, Suh is probably going to be fined for this:
Ndamukong Suh is up to his old tricks. http://t.co/8P5qhZBXIL— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) August 23, 2014
Five or so years ago, that hit wouldn't have even raised an eyebrow, but nowadays, especially given his history, Suh simply has to know better.
Lions' ball control - In addition to the two fumbles mentioned earlier, Matthew Stafford had an interception, giving the Lions three turnovers on the night. Their inability to hang on to the ball was reminiscent of the second half of the 2013 season, and that's an area that still needs major improvement.
Officiating - Although several of the Lions' penalties were legitimate calls, the officiating was beyond ridiculous. Between the two teams, there were 27 total penalties for 232 yards on Friday night. There was no flow to the game because there was seemingly a flag on every other play, and it was really painful to watch. If this does indeed continue in the regular season, I have a feeling I will be watching fewer NFL games than ever before, because this is not fun to watch at all.
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