The Detroit Lions finally got their first win! With a 29-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the Lions finally got the proverbial monkey off their back. While enjoying that, not is the perfect time to highlight five parts of this team that have really shined bright for the 2021 Detroit Lions. 

 

 

  • T.J. Hockenson

    T.J. Hockenson has built on a 2020 season which saw him make his first pro bowl by solidifying himself as one of the top five tight ends in the NFL. He leads the Lions in receptions with 61, receiving yards with 583, and receiving touchdowns with four. His 61 receptions are good for third among tight ends in all of the NFL. He also stepped up big in the Lions’ first win by catching a touchdown pass and making a huge 25 yard reception to help set up his touchdown. Look for T.J. Hockenson to make the pro bowl this season and to be a perennial pro bowl tight end for the next five to seven years. 

  • D'Andre Swift

    D’Andre Swift injured his shoulder in the Lions’ Thanksgiving loss to the Chicago Bears, but before that, he was starting to emerge as one of the up and coming young running backs in the NFL. In the two previous games before his injury,  Swift ran for 130 yards against the Steelers and had the best game of his career in the following week against the Browns, running for 136 yards on only 14 carries which included a 57 yard touchdown run. Where he has really set himself apart is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He is tied for 3rd among running backs in the NFL in receptions with 56 and is third among running backs in receiving yards with 429. Keep in mind that he got hurt in the Bears game and missed the following contest against the Vikings. I believe the Lions have found their future star running back in D’Andre Swift. 

  • Penei Sewell

    Penei Sewell is the Lions rookie first round pick from the 2021 NFL draft and he has certainly lived up to the hype of being a top 10 pick. Sewell came into the season playing left tackle and once Taylor Decker came back from injury, he was moved to right tackle, which is a tough transition. However, he has shined at both positions. Pro Football Focus ranked him the second-highest rookie tackle and since week six, Sewell is the second highest rated tackle in all of the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. Sewell has the looks of a pro bowl tackle for the next decade in the NFL and it looks as though the Lions have hit a home run with this first round pick. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Penei Sewell in the Pro Bowl this season, which would be an incredible accomplishment for a rookie. 

  • Charles Harris

     

    Charles Harris is a former first round pick by the Miami Dolphins who never lived up to the hype. However, he has had a career renaissance in Detroit. The Lions defense has been a bright spot as a whole for the team this season and one of the top reasons is because of the relentless pass rush of Harris. The linebacker leads the Lions in sacks with six and QB pressures with 25. He also showed up big in the Lions’ lone win over the Minnesota Vikings in which he sacked QB Kirk Cousins two times. It’s been great to see Harris finally live up to his potential and he has been the defensive MVP for the Detroit Lions so far this season. 

  • Amani Oruwariye

    Amani Oruwariye has developed into the Lions top cornerback who often gets tasked with guarding the opponents best receivers. Despite this, Oruwariye is tied for third in the NFL in interceptions with five. He has also allowed only 37 receptions all season to opposing wide receivers which is good for just over three per game. Amani Oruwariye has taken a big leap forward this season and it wouldn’t shock me to see Oruwariye finish the year strong and develop into the future shut down cornerback for the Detroit Lions. 

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