Watch: Detroit Lions Podcast Week 2 recap and Dan Skipper appreciation episode

The Detroit Lions Podcast Week 2 recap, look ahead to Week 3 and the Dan Skipper appreciation episode

The latest episode of the Detroit Lions Podcast celebrates a Lions victory and everything that goes with it.

From a breakdown of how Dan Campbell’s team attacked the Washington Commanders to a discussion of the incredible work of offensive line coach Hank Fraley, we go over several key facets of the Week 2 win. Special notice is given for left guard Dan Skipper, who played pretty well in his first career start after toiling for six years and being fired — his words — so many times.

There is also a look ahead to the Week 3 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. What did we learn about Minnesota from watching the Vikings play the Philadelphia Eagles a week after the Lions lost to that team?

Finally, we welcome Scott Bischoff to the Detroit Lions Podcast team. Bischoff will help analyze games and offer another set of trained eyes during the draft evaluation process.

NFL Week 3: Reasons to watch each game

Here’s why you should tune in to each NFL game in Week 3.

Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season provided another solid slate of games, which included some impressive comebacks by the Dolphins to beat the Ravens and the Jets to defeat the Browns.

Heading into Week 3, there are plenty of intriguing matchups for fans to watch. It all starts when division rivals the Steelers and Browns square off on Thursday Night Football. Then there’s a showdown between two of the hottest teams in the AFC as the Dolphins battle the Bills on Sunday afternoon and some important divisional matchups.

Our NFL Wire editors offered their reasons for why you should tune in to each game in Week 3.

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Malcolm Rodriguez: Breaking down the Lions rookie LB in Week 2

Malcolm Rodriguez: Breaking down all of the Lions rookie LB’s snaps in the Week 2 win over the Commanders

Malcolm Rodriguez is quickly making a name for himself in Detroit. The sixth-round rookie has earned the starting role at linebacker and rolled with it. “Rodrigo” led the Lions in tackles in the team’s Week 2 win over the Washington Commanders and earned acclaim as one of the league’s “Secret Superstars.”

As I did with cornerback Jeff Okudah in Week 1, I went back and charted every single rep from Rodriguez against the Commanders. Rodriguez played 54 of Detroit’s 74 defensive snaps in the win.

I reviewed all 54 of Rodriguez’s reps on defense. Even playing linebacker in the middle of the field, Rodriguez was only actively involved in 23 plays. On those plays where Rodriguez directly mattered in the outcome, I assigned either a plus for a good play or a minus for a bad one. The tally: 15 plusses, eight minuses.

Some of the plusses were obvious ones. The second defensive snap of the game was a great example. Rodriguez attacked a Commanders run, picking off the outside blocker and pushing him into the way of RB Antonio Gibson, who was quickly gobbled up by Will Harris and Alex Anzalone for a minimal gain. If Rodriguez doesn’t do what he does, Anzalone doesn’t get there on the scrape in pursuit from the other LB spot.

Two other first-half plusses resulted in major positives for the Lions defense. Rodriguez helped create an intentional grounding penalty against Commanders QB Carson Wentz with a delayed A-gap blitz. No. 44 was integral in the Charles Harris sack of Wentz that produced the safety, too; Rodriguez was in coverage on Wentz’s desired target and locked up TE Logan Thomas on the play, forcing Wentz to hold the ball long enough for the cavalry to get the huge play.

Rodriguez also contributes on special teams, and he earned a plus on the very next rep, the free kick after the safety. He made a textbook seal block that helped spring Kalif Raymond for a 52-yard return.

The minuses primarily came in the second half and in open field or coverage situations. He was exploited in coverage on two big plays by the Washington offense on the touchdown drive that closed the score to 22-15. The first was a deep crossing pattern where he couldn’t keep up with WR Curtis Samuel, a very nice play design by the Commanders. Two plays later, Rodriguez didn’t get enough depth in his cover drop, allowing Wentz to hit Thomas for a TD before safety DeShon Elliott could close from his high-coverage role. It appears Pro Football Focus hung this TD on Elliott’s ledger, but Rodriguez is of at least equal culpability.

It was a frustrating minus to give on the TD pass because Rodriguez earned a plus one drive earlier for getting great positioning in coverage on Thomas and forcing Wentz to throw the ball too high to his giant TE, resulting in the tip-drill INT by Will Harris. Another coverage plus came later when Rodriguez nearly snatched an interception while staying in lockstep coverage.

There was one missed tackle, a play where Wentz juked a diving Rodriguez on a scramble up the middle. He had another arm tackle that failed but was quickly cleaned up by Harris, and Rodriguez at least held his leverage so I didn’t give him a minus there.

Three minuses came on run plays where he was devoured by blocks on the play side of the run. But Rodriguez earned several plusses in the run game, notably a huge stuff tackle on 3rd-and-2 at the end of the third quarter. Three plays later he initiated a tackle-for-loss in tandem with DT Isaiah Buggs, a big plus for No. 44.

Overall it was a very impressive performance for Rodriguez’s second NFL game. The minuses in coverage were primarily more of a schematic issue than mental failures by Rodriguez. The instincts and quick reactions that made Rodriguez appealing as a draft prospect and rocketed him up the Detroit depth chart were validated in the win over the Commanders.

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3 Lions earn ‘Secret Superstar’ status in Week 2 win over Washington

John Cominsky, Malcolm Rodriguez and dan Skipper all earned spots on Touchdown Wire’s Secret Superstar list for Week 2

The stars came out in Detroit’s 36-27 win over Washington last Sunday. Aidan Hutchinson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift and Jared Goff all had great games in Week 2. But the Lions also got great performances from some less-heralded players in the win.

Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire recognizes those sorts of players each week with the “Secret Superstar” honors. And he found three Lions worthy of inclusion in the Week 2 edition of honoring the underappreciated.

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Left guard Dan Skipper, defensive lineman John Cominsky and rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez all made the cut. They’re all smart inclusions.

The segment on Cominksy epitomizes the concept of the Secret Superstar,

Through two games in the new season, he has a sack, a quarterback hit, and eight quarterback hurries. It got lost in rookie Aidan Hutchinson three-sack performance against the Commanders on Sunday, but Cominsky had that sack, and seven total pressures.

The sack was specifically impressive, because as Hutchinson (No. 97) stunted several gaps inside, Cominsky (No. 79) shredded a double-team on the way to Carson Wentz.

Congrats to the Lions trio of underexposed contributors, they all deserve the acclaim.

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Texans WR Nico Collins confident passing game will improve following self-scout of Broncos film

Houston Texans WR Nico Collins is confident that the passing game will find its way after watching their Week 2 tape against the Denver Broncos.

Nico Collins stated the obvious when he met with reporters Tuesday inside the media workroom at NRG Stadium.

“It’s a long season,” the former 2021 third-round receiver from Michigan said.

Even before the NFL decided to add a 17th game to the schedule in 2021, the NFL season was long enough with 16 regular season games spanning from early September to late December. Given the square nature of four, NFL teams would have four games per quarter of the season — reasonable enough data sets to identify what type of team they had on their hands.

With 15 games to go, the Texans still have plenty of time to fix their 0-1-1 record. Only the Indianapolis Colts share the same distinction, and it was naturally the result of a 20-20 tie in Week 1 at NRG Stadium.

Houston sought to crack the goose egg in the win column, but they did so in the loss column with a 16-9 disappointment at the Denver Broncos in Week 2. The passing game sputtered as second-year quarterback Davis Mills completed 19 passes on 38 attempts for 177 yards with no touchdowns, no interceptions, and took three sacks.

Collins was the most proficient Texans target with four catches for a team-high 58 yards. Only Brandin Cooks had more targets than Collins with 10, but only by one extra pass. Cooks also had a similar stat line with four catches for 54 yards.

The offense was dismal on third down, going 2-13 in the process. Houston also generated 233 yards total offense — in the year 2022 when the rules in the NFL tend to favor offensive output. The Texans also had 15 first downs.

As the Texans seek their first win, with the Chicago Bears standing in their way at Soldier Field in Week 3, Collins knows it will take a hard look at the inefficiency and lack of execution in Denver to make the necessary improvements.

“I feel we’re going to watch this film, find things we need to work on and build from that,” said Collins.

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Texans place LB Kevin Pierre Louis on injured reserve, C Justin Britt on non-football illness list

The Houston Texans placed LB Kevin Pierre-Louis on injured reserve and also placed C Justin Britt on the reserve/non-football illness list.

The Houston Texans are starting to take on the attrition of the regular season.

The club announced Tuesday they have placed linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis on injured reserve. Pierre-Louis sustained a groin injury in the 16-9 loss at the Denver Broncos in Week 2.

The Texans also announced they placed on starting center Justin Britt on the reserve/non-football illness list. Britt started on Opening Day against the Indianapolis Colts, but missed the loss to the Broncos in Week 2.

Scott Quessenberry started in place of Britt at center. Second-year linebacker Garret Wallow has been inactive for the first two weeks of the regular season.

 

Texans are the worst overall team after Week 2 in the latest NFL.com power rankings

The Houston Texans slid all the way to the bottom in the latest NFL.com power rankings for Week 2.

The Houston Texans saw themselves take a tumble in the power rankings due to their Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos.

According to Dan Hanzus from NFL.com, the 16-9 loss at Empower Field at Mile High was enough to bat the Texans all the way down to the No. 32 spot in the power rankings.

It’s not too early to have serious concerns about the Texans’ offense. A week after Davis Mills and Co. disappeared in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Colts, Houston managed just 234 yards and three field goals in a 16-9 loss to the Broncos at Mile High. Mills also fumbled twice and averaged less than 5.0 yards per attempt in an uninspiring effort that included a four-and-out in the final minute. A bright spot for Houston? The defense, which repeatedly turned Denver away in the red zone and held Russell Wilson to just one touchdown pass. The Broncos were sloppy and begging to be picked off … but the Texans weren’t up for the challenge.

Houston going downward is to be expected, but the fact they are the worst team in the NFL borders the absurd.

Take the Carolina Panthers, who are 0-2 on the year. The Panthers weren’t able to beat the Cleveland Browns at home, nor were they able to get their first win at the New York Giants, even with Daniel Jones gifting them interceptions their defense dropped. Carolina drops two places in the power rankings; Houston drops four.

Even the Atlanta Falcons, who blew a fourth quarter lead against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, managed to go up one spot to No. 29 despite taking another L in Week 2 to the Los Angeles Rams.

Across the rest of the AFC South, the Jacksonville Jaguars jumped three spaces to No. 28. The Indianapolis Colts fell 11 spots down to No. 26 overall. The Tennessee Titans also fell three places to No. 20.

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Pair of Texans make Pro Football Focus top-15 rookies list for Week 2

The Houston Texans had two rookies make Pro Football Focus’ list of top-15 rookies for Week 2.

The Houston Texans’ 16-9 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 2 was deflating as the offense failed to convert third downs, going 2-13 in the process, was 0-2 in the red zone, and went four-and-out on a potential game-tying drive.

However, there were bright spots for the future of the Texans, pending they can get the offense figured out.

According to Michael Renner from Pro Football Focus, the Texans had two rookies make their list of top-15 rookies for Week 2. The first was defensive lineman Kurt Hinish, who posted a 69.6 PFF grade against the Broncos.

The Texans could use all the reasons for hope they can get. Hinish getting snaps as an undrafted free agent was impressive to begin with, but it didn’t stop there for the rookie. He notched two hurries and a run stop on 26 defensive stops.

The second rookie who was outstanding in Denver was fourth-round running back Dameon Pierce.

Pierce was maximizing every opportunity he got against the Broncos. There weren’t many rushing holes, but he still picked up 69 yards on 15 attempts to go along with six broken tackles. Of his 4.6 yards per carry, 3.7 came after contact.

Coach Lovie Smith told reporters Sept. 19 that he appreciated the way Pierce ran the ball against the Broncos.

“We got him more involved and that’ll continue,” said Smith. “I thought he ran hard, did some good things.”

The Texans may not be stacking wins at the moment, but if their rookies continue to impress, it means their player personnel department has been winning in the offseason, and completing the rebuild may not be that far off.

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Lions vs. Commanders: Game notes from the Week 2 film review

Lions film room notes on Jared Goff’s big day, disciplined aggression in the run game, great special teams and more

Tuesday mornings are devoted to rewatching Sunday’s Lions performances. Some of those Tuesdays are easier than others, and this week was one of them.

The game film from the Lions’ 36-27 home win over the Washington Commanders in Week 2 revealed a lot of positives from Dan Campbell’s Detroit team. Quite a few initial judgments were confirmed, but there were also some fresh observations that needed the second (and third–I watch both the game and the All-22) viewing to appreciate.

Here’s some of what really stood out from watching the film of the Lions’ triumphant date with the Commanders.

Texans DE Rasheem Green impressive in Week 2 debut against the Broncos

Houston Texans defensive end Rashsem Green proved how talented he can be off the edge against the Denver Broncos.

After missing the regular season opener against the Indianapolis Colts due to injury, defensive end Rasheem Green finally made his Houston Texans season debut against the Denver Broncos.

He made his impact felt immediately when he was able to get to Broncos quarterback and former teammate Russell Wilson early in the second quarter for his first sack with the Texans.

“I knew it was going to be a pass,” said Green. “There was no back in the backfield. I was lined up wide—had a plan. I just went out there and was playing fast.”

Green, 25, was on the Texans’ radar this past offseason as they looked to add depth to their defensive line. He signed a one-year deal worth $2.75 million with Houston after spending four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

Texans head coach Lovie Smith was impressed by Green’s debut as he finished the game recording 1.5 sacks and five tackles, but his ability to help in the running game stood out to the Texans’ first-year head coach.

“His play against the run was pretty good,” Smith said during his postgame press conference. “There’s a reason why he’s been in the mix, though. He is a good football player. We like what he was able to do.”

Although he helped the Texans’ defense contain Russell Wilson for most of the game, Green would have liked the outcome to be in Houston’s favor as he watched his team squandered another fourth-quarter lead in the 16-9 loss to the Broncos.

“To me, finishing means you’re out there doing ‘right’ longer,” Green told the media in the locker room after the game. “So, I felt like we were doing ‘right’ for a large amount of the game, but we just got to do it longer and better.”

“I mean we got a team that is on consecutive losing seasons. You kind of lose a sense of how to finish out those games because results start going the opposite way. But yeah definitely, just continue to do the same thing that we did that got us to that point, just execute and finish it out.”

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