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Lions' Week 5 Studs and Duds

Read more on the Detroit Lions' studs and duds, following their 19-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5.

Once again, the Detroit Lions started slowly on offense.

After a strong first drive ended in a field goal, Detroit labored for much of the next two quarters. The Lions ended the first half with just six points, making it three straight games without a first-half touchdown.

Defensively, they bent but largely didn’t break. Detroit held Minnesota, playing without its star running back Dalvin Cook, to 13 points through three quarters. The defense created a late turnover, and the Lions briefly led. But, the defense couldn’t hold the lead for 37 seconds.

A last-second field goal handed the Lions their fifth-straight loss to open the 2021 season, with the Vikings winning, 19-17.

Here are Sunday’s studs and duds. 

STUD: S Tracy Walker III

Although the Detroit Lions have been up and -- well mostly -- down in the secondary, Walker is putting together a decent start to the year. He was all over the field Sunday, filling run gaps and making big hits.

In the passing game, Walker was solid getting ahead of routes and limiting deep passes. He set up Alex Anzalone’s interception with a deflection, after getting a great break on a route. Though the secondary had its struggles, Walker himself had a fine day.

DUD: QB Jared Goff

With his first-quarter fumble, Goff established himself as the league leader in fumbles with six. He also threw an interception in the third quarter, with his team in Vikings territory.

The offense has been stagnant all year. It’s been difficult to produce points that don’t come late in games, and Goff is key to starting fast. Unfortunately for the Lions, he just hasn’t done enough to kick start the offense early in games.

To Goff’s credit, all the mistakes went out the window when he made the throw to KhaDarel Hodge on the go-ahead, 2-point try. Yet, once again, a faster start doesn’t put the team in this situation.

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STUD: RB D’Andre Swift

Swift is still working his way into the starting running back role, but there’s no doubt about how important he can be. The one-two punch of he and Jamaal Williams carried the offense at times, including on the last drive when Swift ran seven yards for the go-ahead touchdown.

Swift finished the day with 104 yards on 17 touches. Look for the Lions to utilize him even more in the coming weeks, as he has been key to the offense’s success.

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DUD: CB Amani Oruwariye

Though Kirk Cousins by no means destroyed Detroit’s secondary, Oruwariye got lit up early by wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Cousins, a former Michigan State Spartan, fired two passes to Jefferson on the first drive alone that caught Oruwariye out of position.

Jefferson finished the day with seven catches for 124 yards, which doubled the production of Minnesota’s second-leading receiver. The Lions' defense, for most of the afternoon, was good. However, Oruwariye left more to be desired.

STUD: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Speaking of the linebackers, Reeves-Maybin has seen his playing time increase exponentially since the release of Collins. He made the play of the day Sunday, stripping Alexander Mattison on a third down after the two-minute warning and recovering the fumble. This set up the Lions’ go-ahead touchdown.

Reeves-Maybin has largely been a special teams player throughout his time in Detroit. However, with more reps each week, he’s proving that he can compete at this level.

DUD: LT Penei Sewell

Facing a tough test in Everson Griffen and having not practiced a ton over the past week, Sewell was in for a long day. Indeed, it was a long day for the rookie out of Oregon. Griffen blew by him, and forced Goff’s fumble in the second quarter. And he labored through much of the day.

He was good enough to play from a health standpoint, but one can wonder about just how healthy he was. Sewell was beaten several times and struggled. But, rookies will have those days.