Raiders @ Lions
Final Score: Lions 26, Raiders 14
Writer: Adam Nardelli (@adamnardelli on Twitter)
It’s been a long time since Lions fans could walk into Ford Field with a 5-2 record, let alone for a primetime matchup. The story of most of the first half was missed opportunities for both the Lions and Raiders. Las Vegas followed up a first-quarter Lions fumble with an interception by Jimmy Garoppolo in the Lions’ endzone. As excited as Lions fans were for their first Monday night home game in five years, they were equally as frustrated with three first-half drives ending in field goals after marching deep into Raiders territory. Jared Goff and the Lions were finally able to put a complete drive together before the end of the first half when Sam LaPorta found the endzone. Outside of a pick six thrown by Goff, the second half was like walking through a haunted corn maze for the Raiders, especially on offense. Garoppolo was on his back more than he was upright and Davante Adams was completely missing in action.
Lions rookie Running Back Jahmyr Gibbs introduced himself to America with 189 all-purpose yards, and deserves his own paragraph. Of course with David Montgomery‘s absence the path to touches was clearer, but anyone watching Gubbs realizes he needs to have the ball in his hands as much as reasonably possible. His 27-yard touchdown in the third-quarter made it a two-possession game at 23-14, and after watching the Raiders offense tonight it was obvious that was going to be way too much for them to overcome. It was far from a perfect game for the Lions, yet they still were able to win by 12. How much better will Dan Campbell’s kneecap biters be be when they clean up some very correctable mistakes?
- Jahmyr Gibbs – He did it all tonight, from handling a major workload on the ground to getting involved in the passing game. A true breakout game.
- Craig Reynolds – Made the most of his opportunities, which is noteworthy if he’s ever the top dog for the Lions backfield.
- Sam LaPorta – Continues to break the rookie Tight End mold and found the endzone.
- Davante Adams – Seven targets, yet only one catch, and a bad drop. A serious problem with the connection between him and Jimmy G.
- Jakobi Meyers – One target in a game where the Raiders were trailing the entire time.
- Jameson Williams – Drops becoming an issue and wasn’t remotely as involved as some of his counterparts.
Las Vegas Raiders
Jimmy Garoppolo: 10/21, 126 yards, 6 sacks | 2 carries, 12 yards
After missing last week against the Bears with a back injury, Jimmy G had a bumpy night against the Lions. The Raiders were gifted with a fumble recovery deep in Lions territory in the first quarter. They couldn’t capitalize, however, after Garoppolo threw a poorly under-thrown ball to Davante Adams that was picked off by Lions defensive back Kirby Joseph. He didn’t complete a pass to a wide receiver in the first half and clearly has a major chemistry issue with Adams. Adams was wide open down the field on two deep passes from Garoppolo, but they were badly overthrown. As Warren Sharp noted on X (formerly known as Twitter), Adams could’ve had two touchdowns of 60 and 99 yards if not for passes that sailed over his head. We all know he’s not a top five quarterback in the league, but playing this poorly was surprising. It’s not an exaggeration at all to say this was Garoppolo’s worst game of his career.
Josh Jacobs: 15 carries, 61 yards, TD | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards
The 2022 NFL’s leading rusher was the engine behind the Raiders second-quarter touchdown drive. As Joe Buck put it, the Raiders rode him down the field, giving him six carries that culminated in a three-yard touchdown run. That’s the kind of volume all fantasy managers who invested a high-round pick in Jacobs need to see, and was the Raiders best chance of moving the ball throughout the game. The second half was much quieter for Jacobs. On a night where the Raiders offense truly had nothing else going on other than Jacobs, getting him the ball both in the running and passing game when trailing later in the game could’ve made sense to give this team a spark, but it didn’t happen. Still, 16+ PPR points is nothing to complain about considering some of the rough outings Jacobs has had earlier in the season.
Ameer Abdullah: 1 carry, 7 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards
Wide Receiver/Tight End
DaVante Adams: 7 targets, 1 reception, 11 yards
By the middle of the third-quarter, Adams had five targets but somehow only one catch for 11 yards. Adams was relatively wide open when Garoppolo found him in the middle of the field on a third and four in the third quarter, but he uncharacteristically couldn’t secure it. It was that type of night for the former Packer. As mentioned when discussing Garoppolo, Adams was wide open on two deep passes from Garoppolo, but unfortunately Adams had no real shot at hauling those passes in. Josh McDaniels said himself after the game that Adams “can only do what he can do and he got himself open”, It’s a shame that it appears the later years of Davante’ Adam’s Hall of Fame career are being wasted.
Jakobi Meyers: 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards
This makes almost as little sense as Adams’ one reception. For a possession-type receiver like Meyers who is known for moving the chains, it’s hard to understand how he has one target in a game script where the Raiders found themselves trailing the whole game. At least with Adams you can see the emphasis on getting him the ball, but I can’t even say that for Meyers. As bad as this was, let’s remember Meyers has 33 targets over the last three games, but Jimmy G should be questioned how Meyers wasn’t more on his radar.
Michael Mayer: 2 targets, 1 reception, 19 yards
Tonight unfortunately emphasized that the rookie Tight End is likely too volatile to trust in fantasy lineups. Against a defense like the Lions that struggles verses tight ends and in a game with a trailing game script, two targets is majorly disappointing. He did have a nice chunk play of 19 yards, but otherwise wasn’t utilized. A lot of meat left on the bone for Mayer in this matchup.
Austin Hooper: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards
Hunter Renfrow: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards
A guy who feels like he should have a solid PPR floor, yet tonight once again shows that floor is way way too low to have fantasy relevance.
Jared Goff: 26/37, 272 yards, TD, INT | 2 carries, -2 yards
It was said more than once on the TV broadcast that Goff is playing the best football of his career, and after he put up over 225 yards and completed 20/26 passes in the first half alone it’s hard to argue that. He did lead three first-half drives that stalled, forcing Detroit to kick three field goals, but with how well Goff and the Lions offense was moving the ball, you knew they were going to get in the end zone sooner than later. That came true after Goff orchestrated a nine-play, 79 yard drive at the end of the first half that ended with an 18 yard Sam LaPorta touchdown.
As good as Goff has been throughout the year, he’ll periodically give us a head-scratching decision. Goff threw a severely under-thrown pass intended for Amon-Ra St. Brown that was picked off by Marcus Peters and returned 75 yards for a touchdown. Still, Goff was able to do what he does best, which is put up yards under the confines of Ford Field. He even showed some decent mobility when he hit St. Brown while on the move for a 24 yard pass in the second quarter.
Jahmyr Gibbs: 26 carries, 152 yards, TD | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 37 yards
Oh you thought last week was Jahmyr Gibbs’ breakout game? Not quite. The nation saw firsthand why the Lions invested a high first-round pick on the Georgia native. Gibbs was immediately involved with nine touches on the first drive. As Troy Aikman noted on the broadcast, when there appears to not be much there Gibbs can make something out of it. This was never more evident than when Goff dumped the ball off to Gibbs late in the second quarter on a play that looked to be going nowhere. Gibbs instead eluded a Raiders defender and put his speed on display for a 14 yard gain. The Alabama product had no shortage of highlights from tonight, but the 27-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter is arguably the best one of all. Gibbs sped by most of the Raiders defense on his way to pay dirt for his second career touchdown. The play-making ability Gibbs exhibited against the Raiders is exactly what Lions fans and fantasy managers envisioned when Brad Holmes made him the 12th pick in this past year’s draft.
Gibbs’ explosiveness is no surprise, but what may be even more impressive is the toughness he showed tonight. 26 carries is rare for most running backs these days, yet he never looked like he was slowing down. Gibbs channeled his inner Derrick Henry on a 24-yard run in the third quarter. Just picture Chris Berman narrating the bruising blows that Gibbs was delivering to Raiders defenders. His ability to take on this type of workload emphasizes that Gibbs is truly the full package at running back, How will it all play out when David Montgomery returns? Don’t worry about it yet and just enjoy one of the best performances we’ve seen out of any running back all season!
Craig Reyonolds: 14 carries, 74 yards, fumble (lost) | 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards
Reynolds was the perfect compliment for Gibbs against the Raiders. A redzone fumble put a little damper on his night, but he looked explosive in his own right when he was given the ball and made the most of his opportunities, as his 5.3 yards per carry indicates.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Amon-Ra St. Brown: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 108 yards
St. Brown was questionable to play with flu-like symptoms, but you wouldn’t know it when he turned the jets on for a 44 yard catch and run in the second quarter. He’s the master of getting open in the middle of the field for big chunk plays, which is exactly what he did tonight. The aforementioned 44 yard catch along with receptions of 24 and 14 contributed to another great fantasy night for St. Brown. We all know he’s one of the best receivers in the game, but couldn’t he at least get one touchdown?
Sam LaPorta: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 57 yards, TD
LaPorta continues to show he’s one of the most impressive rookie Tight Ends the NFL has seen in quite some time. Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson wanted to get him involved early as they motioned him across the line of scrimmage and Goff immediately looked his way for a six yard reception. It was a modest gain, but it shows the Lions are looking for different ways to get LaPorta the ball in space. Goff threw a perfect pass to LaPorta in the middle of the field right behind the linebacker and right in front of the safety for LaPorta’s 18 yard touchdown. Their connection looks better and better each week.
Khalif Raymond: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards
He doesn’t get many opportunities, but he is a guy that will make the most of the chances he gets. That was the case when Raymond took a short pass from Jared Goff for 14 yards on 3rd and 11 in the first quarter, showing he does possess some explosiveness and I think would become fantasy relevant if he was pushed up the pecking order due to injury.
Jameson Williams: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
The former first-round pick had a bit of a rough start after another drop in the first quarter (something he’s had some issues with). He also got absolutely leveled by Maxx Crosby on a shovel pass from Goff for a six yard loss, but did make up for it on a 22 yard reception before the end of the first half. It was a little taste of the playmaking ability Williams has, but unfortunately that was the only taste we got. The gap in targets between him and LaPorta/St. Brown is a red flag if you’re invested in Williams.
Josh Reynolds: 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards
With St. Brown coming into the game with an illness, it was conceivable to think Reynolds would be more involved. His first-quarter fumble deep in their own territory on his lone reception was the start and end of a disappointing night for Reynolds.
Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis