Detroit Lions stock watch: David Fales up, pass rushers down

Dave Birkett
Detroit Free Press
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Free Press sports writer Dave Birkett takes stock in Detroit Lions players after Saturday's 30-23 loss to the Houston Texans in Houston: 

Stock up

David Fales – Fales was on the “stock down” list last week after he struggled through a 5-for-14 passing performance while taking six sacks. On Saturday, he was afforded much better protection and delivered much better results. Fales completed 12 of 19 passes for 226 yards, led the Lions on their only two offensive touchdown drives and put himself back in the mix to be the Lions’ backup quarterback this fall.

Aug 8, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback David Fales (8) passes the ball as New England Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich (50) chases him during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Reeves-Maybin – Reeves-Maybin was one of the few standouts in the Lions’ preseason-opening loss to the New England Patriots, and he had another good game Saturday. In about a quarter of action, the third-year linebacker had five tackles, one for loss, and a pass breakup. The pass deflection was a thing of a beauty as he dropped off the slot receiver he was covering to knock down a pass to a wide-open tight end. 

Romeo Okwara – Okwara forced the first of two Texans turnovers Saturday, punching a fumble loose from Steven Mitchell that Will Harris returned for a touchdown. He finished with three tackles, two quarterback hits and one sack. On a night the Lions didn’t get enough big plays from their defense, Okwara was one of the few exceptions.

Stock down

Joe Dahl – Dahl wasn’t bad. He didn’t whiff on any blocks or give up any sacks. But playing left guard with the first-team offensive line, Dahl was called for two penalties, a false start and a hold. The Lions have two more weeks to decide if Dahl or Kenny Wiggins will be their Week 1 starter, and Dahl can’t afford many more sloppy days like Saturday.

Vyncint Smith of the Houston Texans catches a touchdown pass against Andrew Adams of the Detroit Lions in the second quarter at NRG Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Houston.

Tom Kennedy – Kennedy made a really nice adjustment on his 19-yard catch in the second half, but he also muffed a fair catch on a punt return. Fortunately, Kennedy recovered the loose ball, but players on the roster bubble – and whose ticket to playing time will be on special teams – can’t afford to put plays like that on film.

The Lions’ interior defensive line – The Lions got little pass rush Saturday outside of Okwara’s lone sack and a few decent rushes by Mitchell Loewen and Jonathan Wynn, and part of the issue was a lack of push from the interior line. Granted, A’Shawn Robinson was the only regular who saw the field, but none of P.J. Johnson, Kevin Strong and Fred Jones 

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Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Read more on the Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions newsletter.

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