Justin Rogers The Detroit News
Published 9:58 PM EDT Aug 17, 2019
Houston — Here are some observations from the first half of the Detroit Lions’ preseason game with the Texans, where the Lions trail 17-10 at the break.
► Despite playing in the second preseason game last year, Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford did not take any snaps in this contest. Josh Johnson, who signed with the team last weekend, got the start and played the entire first half.
Johnson wasn’t sharp, completing eight of his 16 throws for 81 yards. He was picked off on his final throw of half, when trying to get Detroit into field goal range in the closing seconds.
► For the second consecutive week, the Lions offense has struggled to get going. A week after mustering just 93 yards against the Patriots, the Lions did a little better against Houston, with 112 yards in the first half.
Still, the team didn’t have a first down their first three possessions and just one through the first five series, courtesy a pass interference penalty.
► Speaking of pass interference, both the Lions and Texans both challenged a pass interference call, but both calls stood with the ruling on the field.
► The Lions defense was hit and miss. The starting group consisted of eight projected starters, two top backups and defensive tackle Fred Jones. The unit struggled to get any pressure on the opening drive, when Deshaun Watson steered the Texans on an 11-play touchdown drive, going 5-7 for 60 yards and a 4-yard scoring strike to Deandre Hopkins.
► Among the standout performers on defense were Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Romeo Okwara.
Reeves-Maybin was flying around the field, making five tackles, including one for a loss, and breaking up a pass. Owkara was a menace as a pass rusher throughout the second quarter, tallying a sack and two QB hits. He also forced a fumble, which was scooped up and returned for a touchdown by rookie safety Will Harris.
► Andrew Adams continues to make plays. The veteran safety intercepted a pass in the red zone.
► Running back Kerryon Johnson got three carries and looked sharp, gaining 16 yards. Rookie T.J. Hockenson had a great block on the first carry and added a 22-yard reception on a throw back across the formation.
► Joe Dahl got the start at left guard and got hit with two penalties, a hold and false start.
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