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O'HARA'S BURNING QUESTIONS: Did the Lions show improvement?

Burning questions:What it meant for the Lions to make it two straight wins, a workout for the offensive line – right guard T.J. Lang in particular -- a long drive for the offense, good work by the defense, a TD catch and celebration for Marvin Jones Jr., and looking ahead to a bigger test after Saturday night's 16-6 victory over the New York Jets at Ford Field.

Question: How important is it that the Lions are 2-0 in the preseason, with Saturday night's win to go with a road victory over the Colts last week? And did they show improvement from their first game in beating the Jets?

Answer: Winning isn't unimportant in the preseason, but performance is what counts most. The Lions were sharp in spots Saturday night. The defense kept the Jets in check all night, and the offense put 10 points on the board – a field goal and a touchdown – in three possessions before calling it a night.

View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions' preseason Week 2 game vs. New York Jets.

But the game just didn't seem to have same flow Saturday night as it did the week before against the Colts.

It was nothing alarming, or anything that would allude the Lions aren't on track to start the season. There are bigger tests ahead.

Q. Bigger test: What would it be?

A. It will be Friday night at Ford Field against the New England Patriots. The third preseason game is regarded as the most important of the preseason – the so-called "dress rehearsal."

No opponent could give a team a better idea of where it stands than the Patriots.

Q. Offensive line: What meant most for that unit?

A. Four of the five starters played the entire first half, and right guard T. J. Lang played for the first time. He was in for the first three possessions, including the long drive that ended in a touchdown in the second quarter.

Q. Why was it important for Lang?

A. His practice time is being monitored to make sure he is fully recovered from offseason hip surgery. He talked about what it felt like to get in the game.

"It's good to get out there a little bit, run around a little bit, start getting ready for the season," he said in an interview during the game with Fox 2. "Obviously, we've got to protect the quarterback a little bit better.

"Me ...  I feel like a lot of room to get better, but it's nice to be back on the field."

Q. Defense: Any significance that Colts and Jets had trouble scoring in both games?

A. It's always good to keep teams out of the end zone, no matter who's playing quarterback. And make no mistake, the Colts and Jets had offenses led by backups of questionable value at best.

But it cannot be stressed enough that a tougher test is coming against the Patriots. We'll have more answers to more questions next week.

Q. Drive time – Stafford to Jones TD: Matthew Stafford threw his first touchdown pass of the preseason on the offense's third possession. The TD gave the Lions a 10-0 lead in the first minute of the second quarter.

What was better – the drive, throw, catch or celebration in the end zone?

A.  I make the drive No. 1. It was a long drive – 78 yards on 11 plays plus a key offside penalty against the Jets – and Stafford hadn't had one in the preseason.

Before that drive he'd been on the field for 11 plays in three previous possessions. The offense needed to have a long drive with the starting quarterback in the game, and that fit the bill perfectly.

Stafford converted one third down on an 11-yard pass to Marvin Jones Jr. The offside on third and one gave the Lions first and goal. Stafford finished it off with a five-yard throw to Jones in the back right corner of the end zone.

Q. Catch vs. throw: Which was better on that TD, and regardless, why was that a good possession for Jones?

A. Call it a tie. Jones got open, and Stafford put the ball where only he could catch it.

It was one of four catches for Jones for 34 yards in the game. While those are not momentous stats, and Jones has played enough football in his career that he doesn't have to stake his claim to a role on a quarter or two of preseason football, it was good for him to make plays.

He has said he wants to bounce back from a slow finish last year, and the more quality plays he makes in the preseason, the more likely that is to happen.

Q. The celebration: How would you rate the celebration with Jones and two of his teammates?

A. No number – just that it's about time the NFL loosened up on them. I never understood why the NFL put the clamps on celebrations. What Jones and his teammates did didn't get close to pushing the limit.

I want to see what they do for an encore. I hope that was a preview.

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