Though the Detroit Lions struggled defensively each of the first two games of the 2021 season, the unit brought its hard hat into a matchup with one of the league’s toughest quarterbacks.
For 60 minutes, the Lions effectively neutralized Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, the dual threat signal caller from Louisville.
Yet, on a fourth down with less than 30 seconds remaining, he hit Sammy Watkins for 36 yards to extend the game.
Three plays later, Justin Tucker drilled an NFL-record 66-yard field goal to stun the Lions and send Baltimore home with a 19-17 victory.
Here are three studs and duds from the week three loss:
STUD: D’Andre Swift
For the first time this season, fans were treated to a game plan that featured Swift on full display. On the game’s third play, Swift took a jet sweep around the edge for 11 yards and set the tone for his performance.
Swift was all over the offense, whether it be in the backfield or in the slot. He finished the day with 21 touches for 107 yards, scoring a touchdown and performing a highlight-reel hurdle over a Ravens defender.
DUD: Jared Goff
Goff’s struggles in the first half led to the offense heading into the locker room with 0 points. Early on, he was out of rhythm with his receivers and unable to sustain drives. He missed a pair of key throws and was off the mark with others.
In the second half, he was much better. However, the Lions’ lack of downfield passing and limits on what Goff can do ultimately set them back. Had the start not been so bad, Detroit may not have needed to rally late.
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STUD: Kalif Raymond
Much like Swift, week three marked the first time Raymond was unleashed. The speedy wideout played well and did a multitude of things for the Lions. He set new career-highs in receptions and receiving yards, leading the team with six catches for 68 yards.
Having a player of Raymond’s skill set makes the Lions offense dynamic. Though Goff can’t stretch defenses, hitting short passes to Raymond proved key today.
DUD: Jerry Jacobs
Jacobs won’t show up in the stat sheet, as he didn’t have a tackle or a pass breakup. Yet, he made a crucial mistake that erased a big play for the Lions late in the first half.
The undrafted rookie ran out of bounds and failed to come back in covering a punt, which took away a fumble recovery deep in Ravens territory. This penalty forced another punt, which the Ravens turned into a big return and a drive that ended in a touchdown.
STUD: Bobby Price
Forced into action after a pair of injuries at the cornerback position, Price put forth a solid performance in his first start. A converted safety, Price played well in coverage against Baltimore’s speedy receiver.
The second-year player out of Norfolk State finished with two tackles and three passes defensed, including running step for step with Ty’Son Williams and breaking up a pivotal pass in the second quarter.
DUD: Will Harris
Much has been made about Harris’ struggles in coverage, and this was on full display again against the Ravens. He struggled to get to his zones on time and conceded long completions throughout the afternoon.
The biggest of these completions was the fourth down conversions that ultimately led to the Ravens win. Harris played too soft in coverage and allowed the pass to Watkins, extending the game long enough for Baltimore to win it with a field goal.