INDIANAPOLIS – Burning questions: How rookie Kenny Golladay's catches and defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr.'s injury represented the highs and lows of the Detroit Lions' first preseason game; Jake Rudock making a statement to be the backup QB; the defense digging in; a positive stat in the first half and other items in the Lions' 24-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday's preseason opener:
Question: It was a big day for Golladay, and a sad one for Hyder because of an injury. Which has more impact?
Answer: Hyder's injury had more impact for a lot of reasons, and that does not detract from an impressive performance by Golladay in his first preseason game.
Hyder was an ascending player who earned a role through hard work and sheer determination. He led the Lions with eight sacks last year while playing in a reserve role in the rotation, and he had earned a starting job this year.
On only the fifth play of the preseason, the injury put Hyder's season in jeopardy. On a personal level, it was obvious from Hyder's emotions on the field that it was a serious injury. And it also hurts the entire defense.
Q. Golladay debut: What was the most impressive part of his performance?
A. The stats speak for themselves – three catches, 53 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half. But the way he fought for the ball to make the catches was more impressive. All three catches were contested, and Golladay came up with all of them.
Golladay's stock has risen from the first rookie minicamp through training camp, and he said he wanted to take that trend to the playing field Sunday. He did that.
It's one game – and one preseason game at that – but Golladay has shown that the Lions have a legitimate contributor in their third-round draft pick.
Q. Jake's take: Jake Rudock was the trigger man on Golladay's three catches. He made some other throws, and some plays with his legs. How much did he help his stock to win the backup job?
A. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 151 yards and the two scores. He also showed mobility in the pocket, and he ran twice for 24 yards. It was a good showing for Rudock in his competition with rookie Brad Kaaya to win the backup job. Kaaya threw a TD pass in the fourth quarter.
Q. Starting out: Matthew Stafford started and played one possession. The possession ended on the fifth play with an interception. What happened?
A. The throw was a little high, and it bounced off the hands of Marvin Jones Jr. Colts linebacker John Simon caught the ball for an interception.
Q. Defense digs in: The Lions held the Colts to four first downs and 86 yards in the first half. What did the defense do best?
A. It got off the field. It didn't give the Colts any long possessions. The Colts were 1-for-8 on third-down conversions – and they didn't do much on the other downs, either.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions' preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Q. Who stood out for the Lions on defense?
A. Tackle A'Shawn Robinson batted down two passes at the line of scrimmage and looked like he can be a bigger force this year on the interior. Anthony Zettel had a big hit.
Alex Barrett is an undrafted rookie who has made an impression. He had three tackles and a sack.
And rookie cornerback Teez Tabor showed some good instincts with three tackles. On one of them he chopped the legs out from under a running back who looked like he could have gained good yardage on an outside lane.
Q. Stat of the first half: What was it?
A. 0 for 0. The Lions had no penalties for no yards.