New star Lions receiver breaks out in NFC North Good news for Eagles: History is on your side
DETROIT — You ever see those old grainy film reels showing movie stars going through auditions before they have made it?
That’s what it feels like watching Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay right now.
Like we are watching the beginning of something absolutely special.
Golladay is a walking highlight reel, and it’s hard to pick his finest moment from an Oct. 7 win over the Packers.
Was it the leaping, twisting catch near the sideline?
Was it the stiff arm that flattened a Packer? I don’t want to laugh — seriously I don’t — but Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, that’s gonna leave a mark.
Was it the way he used his body against a defensive back to get wide open in the end zone?
Was it the way he tiptoed down the sideline?
Or was it his unselfishness, going into the box and blocking a linebacker?
It’s almost impossible to pick one.
Because Golladay many things well.
But I gotta go with the arm.
It happened in the first quarter, when Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford lofted a pass toward the sideline.
Golladay went up and snagged it out of the air against Josh Jackson, This, in itself, was a thing of beauty: a twisting, leaping catch that looked more like a ballet move than anything.
Golladay took off and Clinton-Dix with a stiff arm. Ka-whack! Pure power. “He’s unbelievable,” tackle Taylor Decker said.
It’s like this second-year receiver is maturing in front of our eyes, producing a highlight every time he touches the ball. He’s a fantastic blend of power, did so stiff hit speed, size and grace.
“I’m sure when we get back and look at it tomorrow, I’m sure there’s still going to be some corrections,” Golladay said. “I’m sure we could have probably had a better half. I mean, a couple plays got called back. We played a good half, but I’m sure it could have been a lot better.”
In the fourth quarter, the Lions held a 24-14 lead, and it felt like Aaron Rodgers was going to pull off a miracle comeback from being down 24 at the half.
Then, Golladay took over. He lined up on the line of scrimmage, facing Kevin King.
Golladay wiped King to the side — a show of pure force — and slipped into the back of the end zone.
Three Packers could only stand there and watch, as he caught the touchdown and celebrated by throwing the ball into the stands.
“It felt good getting this win, that’s what felt good,” Golladay said.
Golladay was targeted nine times and caught four passes for 98 yards and a touchdown in a game the Lions went on to win 31-23.
“This is just a game of matchups,” Stafford said. “Last week, GT (Golden Tate) went for 100 and whatever; this week, Kenny had a big one. Marv (Marvin Jones Jr.) will have a big one next week. That’s what makes this offense difficult to defend; we have a lot of guys that can make plays. I was happy that Kenny had some opportunities today and made some big ones. I had a couple chances at some others and for one reason or another those got called back or whatever. So just proud of the way we fought as a team. Kenny obviously had a nice game.”
And that doesn’t count the 46-yard touchdown that was called back on an illegal-handsto-the-face penalty on rookie lineman Frank Ragnow.
“Like I have been saying, whenever my number is called, I’m just trying to make the play,” Golladay said. “So if they want to throw it to me five times or four times a game or nine times a game, I just want to make all the plays.”
Golladay is oddly quiet for a wide receiver.
The NFL has a long history of brash, big-talking receivers. But that’s not Golladay.
I guess he doesn’t have to say anything bold.
Not after what he does on the field.
Defending NFL Super Bowl champions are most always the No. 1 team on each opponent’s schedule the following season. The Philadelphia Eagles are undergoing the pangs of being a targeted team this season.
The good news for them this week, though, is that when they travel to MetLife Stadium Oct. 11 to face the New York Giants they will do so knowing that defending champions sporting sub -.500 records are 17-9 SU (straight up) and ATS (against the spread) from Game 6 on out when coming off a SU favorite loss. And when they face a division opponent in these games they are 9-0 SU and ATS.
Stat of the week
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is 9-0 SU and 7-1-1 ATS away in games in his career when his team is undefeated and is facing an opponent with a win percentage of .750 or less.
Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay tries to run past Packers cornerback Josh Jackson after a catch during the first half Oct. 7 at Ford Field.