What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Giants @ Lions

Final Score: Lions 21, Giants 16

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


Down 13-3 at halftime, the Lions were doing a decent job of moving the ball offensively but they just couldn’t punch it in when push came to shove. They ultimately came back to win this game largely thanks to defense and special teams. I was really impressed with the physicality and energy the entire defensive unit brought, especially in the second half when they held New York to only three points.




This really feels like the beginning of a new era for Detroit.


New York Giants




Tyrod Taylor: 3/4, 7 yards | 2 carries, 7 yards


I wouldn’t be surprised if Tommy DeVito pushes Taylor for the backup spot at some point. Taylor just is what he is at this point in his career and he can’t stay healthy once given a chance to start.

Missed Opportunities

  • 15+ yard scramble negated by a hold


Tommy DeVito: 15/24, 155 yards, TD, INT, 5 sacks | 4 carries, 11 yards


I kind of liked what I saw out of DeVito. He’s got good quickness and was able to avoid defenders, but throwing on the run was an issue. His touchdown throw was a gorgeous throw right in the breadbasket to the TE on a seam route. He was way more exciting to watch than Tyrod Taylor has been in years.


  • Good wheels
  • Threaded the needle between two defenders for a 17 yard gain on 3rd and long. Great throw
  • Struggled with throwing on the run, but decision making appeared to be good
  • Beautiful touch to the TE covered by the LB on his TD. Great throw
  • INT came on very last offensive play, threw it up to nobody


Running Back


James Robinson: 6 carries, 9 yards


I liked James Robinson a lot in past years when he was in Jacksonville, but man does he look cooked now. He took his first handoff right into a defender and didn’t even try to make a move to get around him. He just kind of took the hit and went down. Later in the 1st half he took a 4th and 1 carry, got hit, and immediately went down. His power has been sapped. It’s sad to see him like this.


Jashaun Corbin: 3 carries, 40 yards


Slid through a gaping hole for a 33 yard run, not very fast.


Eric Gray: 5 carries, 9 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Isaiah Hodgins: 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards


Hodgins’ only target game on 3rd and 25 early in the 1st quarter. He caught the ball three yards past the LOS, turned, and had a defender draped on him immediately. Threw a stiff arm which gave him some separation but the defender eventually dragged him down. He honestly got more out of the play than I expected him to.


Cole Beasley: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards


Cole Beasley has a history with HC Brian Daboll, so he has a good chance to make this team given the lack of playmakers in the WR room. It seems the Giants are looking for a slot guy while Wan’Dale Robinson recovers from his torn ACL, as both Beasley and Jamison Crowder are fighting for a roster spot.


  • Caught the ball, made a move to get around a defender and earned 18 yards.


Jamison Crowder: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 32 yards


Fighting for a role on this team, Crowder made the most of his few opportunities. I still think he’s got something in the tank. I feel Beasley may have the leg up in the competition due to his history with Daboll.


  • Nice catch over the middle to convert 3rd and long. 17 yard gain


Kalil Pimpleton: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards | 1 carry, 4 yards


I fell in love with Pimpleton after last year’s draft, then he was a Hard Knocks darling with the Lions in the preseason. Now on the Giants, I still believe in his skillset. He didn’t show much tonight but I will irrationally believe in him until the day he hangs up the cleats.


David Sills V: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 36 yards


Quick or fast are not words I would use to describe Sills, but he seems to always do well in the preseason. Not sure if he’ll ever have fantasy appeal, however.


Detroit Lions




Nate Sudfeld: 15/28, 194 yards, 2 INT | 1 carry, 1 yard


Teddy Bridgewater is breathing down his neck for the backup job, and if Sudfeld makes the team he’ll likely be the QB3. Of Sudfeld’s two INTs, only one was really his fault.


  • 1st play of game, hit as he threw. Ended up throwing a duck as a result, picked. Not totally his fault
  • Had one play where he and the center were on the same page but nobody else was. Ball was snapped and nobody else moved. Threw it deep to get rid of it. Very strange
  • Threw into triple coverage and airmailed it. Forced it to Jameson Williams. Easily intercepted
  • Had an open received in the end zone, threw it right to him, dropped


Adrian Martinez: 4/7, 37 yards | 5 carries, 14 yards, TD



  • Nearly picked on first pass attempt, lucky he wasn’t
  • Benefited from a gift of a roughing the passer call on game-winning drive
  • Great job of avoiding pressure, defenders to scramble for a first down on 3rd and 5 from inside the red zone. Really impressive elusiveness
  • TD was on a QB sneak


Running Back


Jahmyr Gibbs: 6 carries, 19 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 18 yards


I was impressed most by Gibbs’ physicality in this game. He made a couple of mental mistakes early on, but he was ultimately pretty good in pass blocking which is something a lot of rookie RBs struggle with. I was also surprised with how upright he stands pre-snap. His legs are practically straight. His work in the receiving game will be key to his fantasy output.


  • 1st carry stood up in backfield, loss on the play
  • Stands very upright presnap
  • Missed a block, allowed a free rusher to hit QB
  • Went to the wrong side on play-action
  • Nice catch and run after Sudfeld avoided pressure to get the ball to him. Earned the first down
  • Nice run up the middle on the next play, made a move at the LOS to get to the second level
  • Picked up a block on the next play, play-action. Did enough to give the QB time
  • Another good block on the next play


Mohammed Ibrahim: 4 carries, 9 yards


Justin Jackson retired on Thursday so there is an opening for the 3rd RB on this roster. HC Dan Campbell had some nice words to say about Ibrahim last week, the undrafted RB out of Minnesota who led the Big 10 in rushing twice in five years, and I can see why. He’s physical, has a low center of gravity, and has quick feet. The stats didn’t pop but he has the look and feel of an NFL RB. He did get shaken up in this game with an undisclosed injury.



Devine Ozigbo: 11 carries, 31 yards


Given the opportunities behind Gibbs and Ibrahim. Had a nine yard scamper around the edge for a first down but otherwise nothing stood out.


Benny Snell: 6 carries, 23 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jameson Williams: 7 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards, 2pt conversion


Williams clearly has all the talent in the world, but something tells me he’s not mature enough to be successful at the NFL level quite yet. Obviously we know about his six game suspension due to gambling, but one play in particular late in the first half left me scratching my head.



He also had a pretty bad drop on a near-perfect ball early in the 1st half. The Lions fed him with seven targets, though most of them weren’t within his catch radius. Personally, if I were drafting this week, I’d be hesitant to pull the trigger on Williams, even as a stash.


  • Targeted on opening play, picked
  • Hauled in a one-handed catch to convert the 2pt conversion
  • Played deep into the 3rd quarter

Missed Opportunities

  • Dropped a perfect deep ball from Sudfeld, hit him in the hands



Sam LaPorta: 1 target


His only target of the night came on 4th and 1 with 11:33 left in the 1st quarter. The ball went right through his hands and he dropped it. Not a great look for the rookie.


Antoine Green: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards



  • 24 yard catch and run, wide open in the middle of the field


Chase Cota: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 60 yards


Tough catch after tough catch. Not overly skilled but he catches the ball, takes the hit, and falls forward.


  • 24 yard catch, wide open. Defender left him. Not a great throw
  • Broke a tackle and earned a first down

Missed Opportunities

  • Targeted in the red zone on 4th and long, interfered with but the flag was picked up
  • 15+ yard catch and run called back by OPI. Obvious pick play


James Mitchell: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 53 yards



  • Slid under a defender on play-action, left wide open for a 32 yard catch and run


Maurice Alexander: 3 targets 1 reception, 7 yards | 95 yard punt return TD


Dropped a perfect pass from Adrian Martinez. Had a lane for what could have been a long gain. Broadcasters seemed to think he lost concentration. His punt return (see GIF in opening blurb) was electric

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