Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason Week 3

  • Player of the Game Despite another poor start in the preseason Youth Devon Kennard Jersey , the Detroit Lions had a few good individual performances against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After all, the Lions did mount at 21-point comeback victory. While many of the players that led that comeback are either backups or players that won’t be on the team in a couple weeks, they still deserve some love.But before we get into this week’s candidate for Game Ball, here are the standings after last week’s game (3 points for first place in voting, 2 for second place, 1 for third place.) Note: There was no Game Ball handed out in Week 1 of the preseasonPreseason Game Ball standings:Darius Slay - 3Theo Riddick - 2LeGarrette Blount - 1LeGarrette BlountBlount makes his second consecutive appearance on this list after displaying exactly why the Lions picked him up in free agency. Blount led all running backs with 11 carries for 45 yards on Friday night, but it was his situational running that really pushed him over the top. Blount’s best carry of the game came on fourth-and-1. He was hit in the backfield and looked like he was headed for a loss on the play, but his brute strength allowed him to push forward for a clutch conversion.Ricky Jean FrancoisIf there has been one defensive lineman who has been continually disruptive throughout both training camp and the preseason, it has been free agent pickup Ricky Jean Francois.Francois continues to show his comfort level in Matt Patricia’s defense, and on Friday it led to six tackles and a pressure or two on the quarterback. Brandon PowellLast week, Powell came fourth in voting. This week, I get the feeling he’ll be a tad higher:Powell’s punt return touchdown was instrumental in the Lions’ comeback victory, but his night was not just limited to special teams contributions. Powell led the team in both receptions (six) and yards (45) Cheap Ziggy Ansah Jersey , catching every single target that came his way. It’s still hard to sell me on a fifth wide receiver on the 53-man roster, but if the Lions choose to go that route, Powell has to be a leading candidate right now.Hakeem VallesWhile the other tight ends continue to struggle to make an impact, Hakeem Valles is just rolling along looking like a player that could not only make the roster, but could contribute right away.Getting a fair amount of time with the starters, Vallen caught three passes for 38 yards, including a huge third-down conversion when the Lions were backed up in their own side of the field. Those are the kind of plays that will endear you to a quarterback.Matt CasselFor as much as fans have panicked about the Lions’ backup quarterback situation, both put out strong efforts on Friday night. Though both quarterbacks still have yet to show the talent to go deep down field, Cassel had nice command of the offense against the Bucs.The Lions hadn’t scored a touchdown by the time Matthew Stafford left the game, but Cassel took over for two drives, and ended both with a touchdown. Granted, he was aided by some very solid rushing plays, but he even looked okay when he had to throw it.Notes: Detroit Lions hosting TE Clive Walford for visit While the Detroit Lions offense hasn’t exactly been struggling through five games , it does seem to be missing a key component of most NFL offenses: a receiving threat among tight ends. Obviously, a tight end threat isn’t necessary, but Detroit has a team of players running routes every Sunday that either aren’t getting open or aren’t being seen. The Lions have only 15 tight end targets on the year, which is easily the fewest in the entire league. So it comes as little surprise that Detroit is hosting a tight end for a visit this week. Clive Walford is a former third-round pick in 2015 who has had a modest career thus far. In his three years with the Oakland Raiders, he pulled in 70 catches for 768 yards and six touchdowns. Most of that came in his first two seasons, as the Raiders changed offensive coordinators in 2017 and brought in Jared Cook, pushing Walford to a backup role before they cut him in the offseason. Walford spent subsequent training camp with the Jets, but he didn’t make the final 53-man roster.Player workouts happen every week, and there is no current indication the Lions will be signing him, but it’s notable that the Lions are looking at someone who has starting experience at one of the weakest positions on their roster. Kerryon Johnson has been wildly successful running the ball to the edges: The Detroit Free Press did a statistical dive on the Lions’ horrible run defense and came out with at least one potentially positive stats: Detroit has held 53 percent of opponents rushes to three yards or less. The Lions’ fantastic “Under the Helmet” series continued with the highly-entertaining Darius Slay: Justin Rogers’ Lions vs. Packers film breakdown reviews very bad days from Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Darius Slay and looks at the success of Detroit’s short-yardage running game. LeGarrette Blount is a 1-yard touchdown machine: Sports Illustrated has a story on Joe Cullen, the former Lions defensive line coach who infamously was found by police passed out, naked in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot. Cullen has apparently turned his life around since that dark moment and is now completely sober.