What We Saw: Week 10

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season.

Washington @ Lions

 

Washington piled up 464 yards and actually drove the ball into Detriot territory on all but one drive, but failed to capitalize in the 1st Half. The Lions, on the other hand, made some big plays early to jump out to a quick start. However, the Lions tried to pull their best Falcons’ impression by blowing a big lead. Ultimately, it took a field goal at the end of regulation to give the Lions a 30-27 victory. Let’s dive in and see what we can take away from this game.

 

Washington Football Team

 

Quarterback

 

Alex Smith: 38/55, 390 yards, 2 sacks | 2 carries, 4 yards

 

Alex Smith did an excellent job of moving the football today. Washington punted just twice and one came after they were pushed out of field goal territory by a 10-yard loss and a sack. Smith led his team into Lions’ territory on every possession except one and Washington scored on all 4 of their 2nd Half possessions.

Today marked Alex Smith’s first start in 728 days. His first pass attempt of the game came on the second play.

 

 

Washington actually had a really nice drive going to open the game, as they drove down to the Detroit 14 yard line in 7 plays. But a 10-yard loss on a J.D. McKissic reverse, coupled with a 14-yard sack forced Washington to punt on their opening possession.

Following a field goal drive (which was mostly set up by the run game) and a three-and-out, Washington had another drive into Lions’ territory. The drive was highlighted by a completion from Smith to Cam Sims on 4th and 3 that kept the drive alive. Unfortunately, Dustin Hopkins missed the 43-yard field goal attempt and Washington had just 3 points, despite having three drives go into Lions’ territory.

 

 

Following a Detroit three-and-out, Washington started marching again. Smith completed a 3rd and 3 pass to McKissic for a new set of downs as the team got down to the Detroit 33-yard line. After a defensive holding penalty made it 1st and 10 from the 33, Smith hit McLaurin on a short slant and the ruling on the field was a fumble. Here’s a slow-mo review of it and boy is it close, but the ruling on the field stands, and Washington continues to have just 3 points despite 4 drives into Lions’ territory.

 

 

Washington trailed 24-3 when they touched the ball for the first time in the second half. Once again, they started driving. Smith completed key passes to Gibson, Wright, and McLaurin as Washington headed into Detroit territory again. Washington found themselves in a 4th and 13, down 21 on the Lions’ 17-yard line. Smith managed to squeeze in a pass over the middle to Logan Thomas for 15 yards and a 1st down. J.D. McKissic found the end zone on the very next play to make it a 24-10 game.

The defense managed to force a three-and-out and Smith took over once again. Smith led the team on an 11 play, 84-yard drive that culminated in an Antonio Gibson touchdown run. Smith spread the ball around and hit Cam Sims on a 19-yard pass in the middle of the field to start the drive. Sims made a great diving/sliding catch on the play.

Another key three-and-out by the Washington defense led to the ball being put back into Alex Smith’s hands down just 7. On 3rd and 5, Smith hit Steven Sims, Jr. for a huge 23-yard gain. The very next play Smith hit Logan Thomas on a deep ball that put Washington on the Lions’ 11-yard line. Antonio Gibson took it into the endzone for his second touchdown, tieing the game at 24-24.

A Lions’ field goal put Washington down 3 with just 2:37 to play. They started the drive on their own 11-yard line thanks to a holding penalty on the kickoff. On the first play of the drive, Smith just barely overthrew Thomas down the field. A 5-yard carry from Gibson set up a 3rd and 5. Smith completed a pass to McLaurin for 4 yards….but wait, a flag on the field. “Illegal use of hands, on the defense”. First down Washington. The very next play, Smith hit McLaurin for a 26-yard gain. But three plays later, Washington found themselves in a 4th and 5. The pass to McLaurin was incomplete, but let me know if you’ve heard this before…..but wait, a flag on the field.

 

 

The pass interference call made it 1st and 10 from the Washington 44 yard line. Two incompletions later, a defensive holding call (also on Trufant), made it 1st and 10 from the Washington 49. Two more incompletions later, Smith hit Cam Sims for an 11-yard gain to extend the drive.

 

 

Smith hit McLaurin and Steven Sims to put Washington in range for the game-tying field goal, which Hopkins made to tie the game at 27-27.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Antonio Gibson: 13 carries, 45 yards, 2 TDs | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 20 yards

J.D. McKissic: 8 carries, 6 yards, 1 TD | 15 targets, 7 receptions, 43 yards

Peyton Barber:Β 2 carries, 7 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

 

What’s the word for seeing Peyton Barber getting a handoff for the first play of the day? Ah, yes – stupid. But that’s Washington for you. Here’s a breakdown of the running back snaps today – McKissic 62, Gibson 33, Barber 10 – out of a total of 88 plays.

Up until the 4th Quarter, teams with Antonio Gibson were fuming. The “Free Antonio Gibson” crowd was having a field day. But two Green Zone carries that led to touchdowns turned Gibson’s day around.

 

 

His second touchdown of the game showed off his speed on the edge.

 

 

As good of a day as Gibson had, including seeing 4 targets, it’s difficult to not be insanely jealous of J.D. McKissic’s 15 targets. Yes, all of them were check-downs and yes, some of them were Smith “throwing the ball away” because he was under pressure, but the fantasies I have of Gibson having a massive workload are sexy.

McKissic for his part was decent outside of the 10-yard loss on a reverse play in the 1st Quarter that the Lions blew up. I was surprised to see him handle the first goal-line carry, but he converted it.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Terry McLaurin: 9 targets, 7 receptions, 95 yards, 1 fumble lost | 1 carry, 27 yards

Logan Thomas: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 66 yards

Isaiah Wright: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 59 yards

Cam Sims: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 54 yards

Steven Sims Jr.: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 46 yards, 1 fumble

Jeff Badet:Β 1 target

 

Outside of McKissic, no pass-catcher saw a 20% target share, as Smith spread the ball around. McLaurin led wide receivers with 9 targets. Additionally, he had two other targets negated by pass interference and defensive holding penalties. I loved seeing him get a carry on an end-around. In total, he saw one deep target and had 4 plays go for 19 yards or more.

 

 

Logan Thomas only had one target in the first half but had a couple of key plays in the 2nd Half. He had a 15-yard catch on 4th and 13 to set up Washington’s first touchdown. Then, with Washington driving, he caught a 27-yard reception that put the team in the Red Zone. Two plays later, he drew a defensive holding penalty that set up Gibson’s second rushing touchdown of the game.

I’ll be honest with you, I had a tough time telling keeping track of which Sims caught the ball. Cam Sims had a really nice day. He had key 3rd and 4th Down conversions, had two deep targets, and was doing his part in the blocking game.

 

 

Steven Sims did fumble early, but the ball was recovered by his teammate. He also caught a 23-yard deep ball on 3rd and 5 to head into Lions territory.

Isaiah Wright caught Smith’s 1st pass of the day, a 22-yard completion to the middle of the field. In the clip above featuring Cam Sim’s blocking, you can see Wright’s max effort as he tries to finish the run into the end zone.

 

Detroit Lions

 

Quarterback

 

Matthew Stafford: 24/33, 276 yards, 3 TDs, 1 sack

 

In Alex Smith’s writeup, I talked about Washington’s missed opportunities. Matthew Stafford had the opposite of Smith’s day. Whereas Washington marched the field all game and punted just twice, the Lions punted four times including 3 three-and-outs.

The Lions started their first possession on their own 8-yard line. D’Andre Swift carried the ball on three of the first four plays, picking up 32 yards before Stafford took a deep shot and found a wide-open Marvin Hall for a 55-yard touchdown reception.

 

 

The Lions second possession didn’t go very far, but Stafford took a shot from linebacker, Kevin Pierre-Louis on a sack. His helmet went flying off and Pierre-Louis drew a personal foul penalty for lowering the head to initiate contact. Stafford was fine, but it was definitely a scary hit.

A short punt by Washington set the Lions up near midfield for their third possession. Adrian Peterson picked up 26 yards over three plays to move the Lions into Washington territory. Two plays later, Stafford hooked up with Marvin Jones for a 27-yard score.

 

 

Following the Terry McLaurin fumble, the Lions took over at their own 31-yard line with 1:21 to go in the 1st Half. He completed three quick passes to Jones, Hall, and Hockenson to move the ball into Washington territory. They then had a strange play where Amendola caught a quick slant and tried to lateral it to Marvin Jones, but by the time Jones realized what was happening, he was ahead of Amendola making it an illegal forward pass. The drive stalled out and with 2 seconds to play in the half, Matt Prater kicked a 53-yard field goal to end the half up 17-3.

The Lions had the first possession of the 2nd Half and started marching. Following an offensive holding penalty that put the Lions in a 2nd and 20 hole Stafford set up a screen to Swift, who showed off his quickness in picking up 26 yards. Stafford then connected with Hockenson for 5 yards on 3rd and 4 to keep the drive alive. Next, he hit Jones for a 19-yard gain. Two plays later, D’Andre Swift showed off his route running in finding the end zone. Look at Bostic’s legs just go out from under him.

 

 

The Lions’ next two possessions were three-and-outs, which allowed Washington to get back in the game, and the next time Stafford got the ball, the score was tied at 24. The drive started at the Detroit 25 yard line, but the team leaned on their shiny new toy, Swift, who accounted for 46 of the 56 yards on the drive. Following two Stafford incompletions and a Swift 1-yard run, the Lions settled for a 37-yard field goal to take the lead.

Washington responded with a field goal of their own to tie the game with just 16 seconds to play. I actually saw on Twitter one reporter who sent out a tweet of Alex Smith’s numbers “through regulation” thinking there would be overtime. Stafford started the drive with a quick completion to Quintez Cephus. He then took a deep shot for Cephus that was just out of his reach.

 

 

But wait, there’s a flag on the field. Roughing the passer on Chase Young pushed Detroit to midfield. With 6 seconds left, Stafford completed a quick pass to Jones to set up a 59-yard field goal attempt by Matt Prater for the win.

 

 

Running Backs

 

D’Andre Swift: 16 carries, 81 yards | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD

Adrian Peterson: 4 carries, 21 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards

Kerryon Johnson: 1 carry, 1 yard

 

Here it is folks. The week we were all waiting for. D’Andre Swift dominated the snaps playing 43 of the Lions’ 59 snaps. Adrian Peterson played just 7 snaps and Kerryon Johnson played 9 snaps. On top of that, Swift got 78% of the running back touches and he succeeded with those touches. Swift looked electric, especially in space.

 

 

Here’s the receiving touchdown from another angle. You gotta love the 15% target share too.

 

 

Peterson took a back seat and only got all of his touches on two series’, while Johnson’s lone carry came with the Lions up 14 and seemingly looking to burn clock.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Marvin Jones, Jr.: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 96 yards, 1 TD

Marvin Hall: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 61 yards, 1 TD

T.J. Hockenson: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards

Quintez Cephus: 2 targets, 1 reception, 10 yards

Danny Amendola: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 10 yards

Jesse James: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

Isaac Nauta: 1 target

 

With Kenny Golladay sidelined still, Marvin Jones remained Stafford’s favorite target. Three of Jones’ targets were deep while three came on 3rd down. You have to love Jones’s 30% target share in this game.

After Jones and Swift, the targets were spread thin pretty evenly. Hockenson didn’t appear hampered by his toe injury, which is good to note moving forward. Two of his targets came on 3rd Down and one target was deep.

 

— Rich Holman (@RichardoPL83 on Twitter)

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