GREEN BAY – Brandon Powell will never forget Dec. 30, 2018.
That’s the day the undrafted wide receiver out of Florida went into storied Lambeau Field and recorded his first start and first 100-yard receiving game in a 31-0 Detroit Lions victory Sunday.
“Just to have a game like this is going to be one I’m going to look back to for the rest of my life,” Powell said after he recorded six grabs for 103 yards in the contest “My first start, 100 yards against the Green Bay Packers. It’s going to be one of those games that’s going to be on my wall, my kids are going to watch it. It was a great experience for me.”
The Lions were without Kenny Golladay Sunday because of a chest injury. So Powell, TJ Jones, Andy Jones and Chris Lacy had to step up, despite the fact that together they had a little more than 200 receiving yards on the year. They combined for 193 against the Packers, with Powell leading the way with 103.
“Really all those guys, I was happy for all of them,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “They all stepped up and played really well today. We needed it. There weren’t a lot of guys left.”
Stafford said he was kind of learning those guys on the fly having not had a lot of practice reps with them. They also made some key blocks in the run game to spring some big plays.
Powell entered Sunday with just five catches for 23 yards in five games played this season. Sunday was big for him in that it showed he can be a playmaker in the slot.
Second-year linebacker Jarrad Davis, also a teammate of Powell’s at Florida, was happy for the rookie receiver after the game, but wasn’t too surprised by the performance.
“Being able to work and be by his side for I don’t know how many years now, the kid is special,” Davis said. “He’s got a lot of fire, a lot of juice, a lot of passion for the game. I love being his teammate. He can do a lot for us.”
Powell’s performance in Green Bay could certainly put Powell in the offseason plans for the Lions at the receiver position.
Safety Glover Quin said he’ll decide his NFL future in the next couple of weeks.
“I’m just enjoying this moment right here,” he said in the locker room after the win in Green Bay. “It’s been a long year. Right now I’m just enjoying this moment. Never know when you get another one like this. If it is it, I’ll definitely remember this moment. I’m just enjoying it right now and we’ll see what happens.”
It’s important for players to kind of decompress a little bit following a difficult season like the one Quin and the Lions just completed. Quin is deciding whether or not to play an 11th season or retire from the game.
He started every game this season and never showed up on the injury report, but the Lions do have to find playing time for this year’s third-round pick, Tracy Walker.
“I always love it,” Quin said, when asked if he still loves playing the game. “That’ll never go away.”
He said the toughest part about his impending decision would be leaving his teammates, friends and the relationships he’s built over the last 10 years.
WHY THEY PLAY
There’s a segment of Lions fans that wanted to see the Lions lose in Green Bay so Detroit could have a better draft pick.
Players play the game to win, and Stafford certainly wasn’t going to apologize for ending their season with a good win Sunday
“That’s what we work for,” he said. “We battle all offseason, battle all season, all week to get ready to go play these games,” he said.
“We didn’t do a good enough job executing on Sundays this year to get us where we want to be, but we take none of these games for granted. We get a chance to go out there, kick it off on Sunday, and go play and do everything we can to win.”
- Detroit’s offensive line deserves a lot of credit for the offensive explosion Sunday. Detroit was able to establish the run with Zach Zenner (93 yards on 21 carries), and that in turn helped them protect Stafford in the passing game. Stafford was sacked just once and hit a total of three times in the game. Those guys upfront played really well.
- The Lions were a perfect 3-for-3 in the red zone and were 7-for-14 (50 percent) on third down.