Lions-Cardinals recap: Who's in the penthouse, and who's in the doghouse?
The Lions started off the 2019 season in disappointing fashion, tying the Arizona Cardinals, 27-27. It was the second game in franchise history that ended in a tie and the first since 1984.
There were positive contributors on both offense and defense for the Lions. However, at the same time, there were those that may not want to arrive to work at Allen Park on Monday to review their game film.
So, after the game, who deserved to be hanging out in the proverbial Lions penthouse and in the team's proverbial doghouse? Find out by reading below!
TE T.J. Hockenson - The No. 8 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft had a record-setting performance. He displayed the ability to get open, was a target Matthew Stafford could rely upon and was effective as a run blocker as well. Finished with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.
CB Darius Slay - In the first three quarters, Arizona was completely out of sync on offense. The difficulties faced were largely due to solid play from the secondary, led by Slay. Displayed lock-down ability and was a disruptive force.
DB Tracy Walker - His interception helped the Lions establish their defensive presence in the first half. Along with Slay, he was consistent in executing his defensive responsibilities, and helped the secondary disrupt Kliff Kingsbury's passing attack.
LT Taylor Decker - Not sure he will ever want to review the film of this game. Everybody is wondering the exact same thing: "What happened to Taylor Decker?"
Decker arguably struggled the most of any Lion on Sunday. Was primarily responsible for Stafford getting sacked on multiple occasions, took penalty after penalty and struggled to win battles on running plays.
The run game could improve if the left tackle position and the offensive line, as a whole, play better moving forward.
There is heavy concern regarding Decker's performance, and the matchups only get tougher as the season progresses.
KR/PR Jamal Agnew - Not sure he will have a chance to get out of the doghouse. If he is still on the roster next week, he must do a significantly better job. His muffed punt contributed to points being scored for Arizona.
Additionally, he struggled with blocking, and only netted an average of 16 yards as a kick returner.
On punts, he also struggled, and did not earn positive yards. As a whole, his decision-making must improve in the coming weeks.
NT Damon Harrison - Don't expect him to remain in the doghouse for long. Known for his strengths in run-blocking, he was a major factor in turning around the Lions' defense last season.
On Sunday, Arizona running backs averaged five yards per carry.
As Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray noted postgame, Harrison was on the sideline quite often in the fourth quarter.
He did not play much in the preseason, and it showed once Arizona went up-tempo in the second half.