Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Loss to Seattle was disappointing, but longer-term issues are forming
It was definitely a come-back-to-Earth game for the Lions and their fans following an overtime home loss to Seattle.
But there is still plenty of season left, and if the Lions win their next two games at home over Atlanta and at Green Bay, they’ll finish the first quarter of the season on track at 3-1 and on top of the NFC North.
However, hopefully for fans, the loss to Seattle wasn’t a prelude to other issues that could cost the Lions down the road.
Among them are:
- The pass rush is off to a slow start. Through the first two games, the Lions have only one sack they and didn’t get enough pressure on Seattle quarterback Geno Smith at all. Smith went 32-of-41 passing for two touchdowns in carving up the Lions yet again. News on Monday morning that edge rusher James Houston — who had eight sacks last year as a rookie — is out at least 6-to-8 weeks with a fractured ankle, doesn’t help.
- Depth at running back. With David Montgomery suffering what was described afterwards as a thigh bruise, he might miss some time. That’s a problem, because he was one of only three running backs dressed for the Lions against Seattle. The others were rookie Jahmyr Gibbs and Craig Reynolds (Jason Cabinda was also dressed, but he is a blocking fullback). Lions GM Brad Holmes might need to scan the waiver wire or inquire about trade possibilities for running backs.
- Playmakers at wideout. Beyond Amon-Ra St. Brown, who missed a few snaps with toe and ankle injuries, who is an impact wide receiver? Maybe if Tampa Bay wideout Mike Evans still wants out of that organization, trading for him could be something to consider, unless the plan is to just simply survive until Jameson Williams comes back from his suspension after Week 6.
Again, it’s only one loss and there’s plenty of time to make up for it. But if not addressed, the above issues could lead to more deflating losses like the one to Seattle, rather than uplifting wins like the one at Kansas City.
Should U-M fans be concerned about J.J. McCarthy?
After a scintillating first two games, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looked out of sorts in a win on Saturday over Bowling Green. McCarthy threw three interceptions and probably gave some valuable game film to future opponents that are better than Bowling Green.
Time will tell if it’s a trend or just a one-game aberration.
Impressive road winning streak ends for Ferris State
Ferris State, the two-time defending Division II national champions, saw a 28-game road winning streak end on Saturday.
Granted, it’s not like the Bulldogs lost to a slouch, nor was it a loss to a team in its league or Division.
Ferris State traveled to traditional FCS power Montana, and while outgaining Montana, 285-189, the Bulldogs lost 17-10.
The last time Ferris State lost on the road was in 2017.