In one of the more exciting games of Week 1, the Detroit Lions held on for a 39-35 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, as Andrew Luck could not lead his team all the way back from an 18-point deficit.
Here are three things we learned from this game.
Once again, a slow start doomed the Colts
During the off-season and preseason, Indianapolis talked about wanting to have a semblance of a balanced offense instead of relying on Luck’s arm. To their credit, they tried to establish a running game, but just like it the preseason, it was nonexistent.
They ran a total of 15 plays for 31 yards in the first quarter. Six of those plays were runs for just 14 yards. Indianapolis continued to be stagnant on offense until the Lions went up 21-3, and that’s when the offense began to click under Luck’s arm. For the game, he had 385 yards and four touchdowns, but for the Colts to compete, they need that running game early and often.
People wondered what the Lions offense would be like without Megatron
Well, Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said his offense would be different, And after watching it with my own eyes, it certainly was. They will diversify. They will use their running backs on receiving routes to get them in space.
They used Matthew Stafford’s arm and skill set with aplomb. And they sustained the running game without abandoning it as they have done in the past. The only issue is that it was feast or famine for the offense, as they either scored or went 3-and-out, so being consistent is something that needs to be worked on.
Both defenses were, well, abysmal
There was almost 1,000 total yards gained and 53 first yards by both teams combined, and in order for each team to contend going forward, both defenses need to be shored up.
For the Colts, it didn’t help that they were without both starting corners, and like last seven, the front seven was a sieve. For the Lions, they could not get off the field when needed, and will learn that they need to make a big stop when the game is on the line.