| Detroit Free Press
Free Press sports writer Dave Birkett breaks down the Detroit Lions‘ 41-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and looks at three players who helped and hurt their stock Sunday.
S Miles Killebrew: Killebrew has been one of the Lions’ best special teams players for three seasons, and he did something Sunday — block a punt — that no Lions player has done in 13 years. Killebrew’s block, the first by a Lion since Casey FitzSimmons on Dec. 23, 2007, set up a Marvin Jones touchdown. Unfortunately, it was one of the few highlights for the Lions.
WR Marvin Hall: The Lions have been stubborn in their wide receiver rotation this year, using Danny Amendola over Hall and Jamal Agnew as their No. 3 receiver. Hall saw an expanded role Sunday after Kenny Golladay and Agnew left with injuries, and he delivered with four catches for 113 yards. Hall outran a couple Colts defenders for a 73-yard catch in the second half. It’s time the Lions start putting his deep speed to better use.
DE Romeo Okwara: There aren’t many bright spots to choose from for the Lions, but Okwara makes this list for the second straight week. He had his fifth sack of the season, recovered an Agnew fumble on special teams and continues to be the Lions’ best pass rusher. Okwara played well in 2018 and had a down year last year, but as he creeps closer to free agency, he seems more and more likely to land a big deal.
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WR Kenny Golladay: Golladay is unquestionably the Lions’ best receiver, but he suffered a hip injury Sunday that will keep him out an undetermined amount of time. I’m still of the belief that the Lions need to sign Golladay to a long-term extension, but his immediate bargaining power may be compromised by health. Golladay missed two games with a strained hamstring earlier this season, and as both sides try and find some common ground on the dollars, another injury is not good for business.
OG Joe Dahl: The Lions have played pretty well up front most of the season, but Sunday was a rough day for the entire group. Dahl’s struggles were especially noteworthy as he allowed sacks to Tyquan Lewis and Denico Autry and got little push in the run game. The Lions’ starting left guard last season, Dahl played right guard Sunday in his first start since suffering a groin injury in September. He was playing out of position, so maybe he deserves a break. But he needs to be better if he’s going to stay in the starting lineup going forward after Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered another foot injury.
LB Jahlani Tavai: Tavai started at inside linebacker Sunday as the Lions opened the game in a 3-4 alignment, but he looked apprehensive at times on the field. A second-round pick out of Hawaii in 2019, Tavai was late diagnosing a swing pass to Nyheim Hines on the Colts’ first touchdown and when he ran off the field late on Indianapolis’ two-point conversion attempt, he left the Lions with 10 men on the field. Tavai finished with four assisted tackles Sunday and did not make a single impact play.
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.