FIRST DOWN: SAME OLD GOLLADAY
Most Lions fans got their first glimpse of rookie receiver Kenny Golladay in Sunday's preseason opener in Indianapolis. He didn't disappoint.
He caught three passes for 53 yards, including touchdown catches of 23 and 15 yards. Golladay's pro debut has Lions fans talking, but for media members that have watched him practice dating back to OTAs, and for those fans that attended open training camp practices in Allen Park, Sunday's performance is what they've been seeing since he first got to Detroit.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell emphasized to the receivers Saturday night that they have to win the 50-50 balls against defenders in single coverage.
The 6-foot-4, 213-pound Golladay has shown all spring and summer that's his forte. He scored both of his touchdowns in single coverage.
"They had man coverage on Kenny, so it's one of those, 'Hey, let's give him a chance on those routes,'" said quarterback Jake Rudock, who threw both touchdown passes to Golladay.
"He just made a great play on both of them. On those balls that are up for him, 50-50 balls, whatever you want to call them, he's been doing a great job just competing for them."
It was only one preseason performance against backups, but Golladay's play Sunday certainly has people talking, and it will probably put a target on his back next week against New York Jets defenders at Ford Field.
SECOND DOWN: YOUNG DEFENSIVE ENDS
With starting defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr. suffering a significant Achilles tendon injury, Detroit's collection of young defensive ends is going to have to grow up quick.
Second-year player Anthony Zettel was already expected to play a role, but it might be even more significant now.
With starter Ziggy Ansah still on PUP and Cornelius Washington and Armonty Bryant still navigating through injury, the Lions could be very young on the edge for a little bit.
The good news is that all of Detroit's young pass rushers made an impact in some way against the Colts.
Zettel had a tackle for loss, and all three rookies – Jeremiah Valoaga, Alex Barrett and Pat O'Connor – recorded a sack.
"I know they functioned pretty well today," Caldwell said of his young defensive ends. "They made some plays.
"But this is a long season and a big test and this is just one game. We just have to keep working. They have promise and they did some good things today."
THIRD DOWN: ABDULLAH'S RETURN
The first pass quarterback Matthew Stafford completed Sunday was an innocent little swing pass on what was probably his third or fourth read.
Ameer Abdullah was the outlet on the play, but that innocent looking throw was a terrific example of what Abdullah brings to this offense.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions' preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
He caught the ball, made a would-be tackler miss in space, and scampered down the field for a 12-yard gain.
It's Abdullah's ability to make defenders miss, not just in the open field, but also in the hole, that has the potential to make this Lions offense so much better.
Abdullah only played the first series, but he told Fox 2 at halftime that it was good to be back after missing nearly all of last season with a foot injury.
"It felt great. It felt great just because I'm out here with all my teammates again," he said.
"When I got in that huddle, I told everybody, 'Get used to this'. I feel like we have a really talented huddle. It started off fast so that's all I can ask for."
FOURTH DOWN: LEFT TACKLE LOOKS
The Lions have said it's an open competition to see who can fill Taylor Decker's shoes at left tackle until he returns from a shoulder injury, but it seems more and more like Greg Robinson has taken the reins of that competition and started to run away from the pack.
Robinson played the entire first half with both the first- and second-team offenses, and played pretty well. We'll have to check the tape for a full evaluation. He also had some good practices the last couple days with the Colts.
Cyrus Kouandjio, who is expected to be Robinson's stiffest competition for the job, did not play Sunday. It's unclear if that was injury-related or a coach's decision.
Rookie Storm Norton got extensive work at left tackle in the second half.
Robinson will continue to get a long look, but it appears it's his job to lose at this point in camp.