- Eric Woodyard covers the Detroit Lions for ESPN. He joined ESPN in September 2019 as an NBA reporter dedicated to the Midwest region before switching to his current role in April 2021. The Flint, Mich. native is a graduate of Western Michigan University and has authored/co-authored three books: “Wasted, Ethan’s Talent Search” and “All In: The Kelvin Torbert Story”. He is a proud parent of one son, Ethan. You can follow him on Twitter: @E_Woodyard
ESPN Staff Writer
- Paul Gutierrez joined NFL Nation in 2013 and serves as its Las Vegas Raiders reporter. He has a multi-platform role – writing on ESPN.com, television appearances on NFL Live and SportsCenter, and podcast and radio appearances. Before coming to ESPN, Gutierrez spent three years at CSN Bay Area as a multi-platform reporter, covering the Raiders and Oakland Athletics as well as anchoring the SportsNet Central cable news show. Gutierrez votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame and is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America and currently serves as the PFWA’s Las Vegas chapter president. He is also a member of the California Chicano News Media Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Gutierrez has authored three books: Tommy Davis’ Tales from the Dodgers Dugout, 100 Things Raiders Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die and If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Raiders Sideline, Locker Room and Press Box with Lincoln Kennedy. You can follow Paul on Twitter @PGutierrezESPN
Oct 30, 2023, 11:21 PM ET
Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs had a breakout performance, amassing 189 yards and a touchdown on 31 touches as Detroit shook off a loss at the Baltimore Ravens and improved to 6-2 on the season. Las Vegas fell to 3-5.
Raiders defensive back Marcus Peters cut an early Lions lead to two points with a pick-six early in the third quarter, but Gibbs answered with a 27-yard touchdown three possessions later to put the game away for good.
Hosting their first Monday night game since 2018, the Lions bounced back from their first road loss of the season with a victory over the Raiders in front of a fired-up crowd at Ford Field.
Entering the game, Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was listed as questionable with an illness, but he managed to play and finished the night with his 11th career game with 100 receiving yards, passing Roy Williams for the most such games by a Lion in his first three seasons.
The night, however, belonged to Gibbs as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 draft announced his arrival on a prime-time stage.
Buy a breakout performance: Gibbs. Without veteran running back David Montgomery (ribs) for the second straight week, rookie RB Gibbs carried the load with 189 yards from scrimmage. He ended with 152 rushing yards and 37 receiving yards. The Lions’ run game struggled over the previous two weeks with 124 total rushing yards combined over that span. In the first quarter alone, Gibbs had 11 touches, which were the most in an opening quarter since Christian McCaffrey in Week 15 last season.
Troubling trend: Integrating wide receiver Jameson Williams into the offense continues to be a work in progress. Williams dropped a pass in the first quarter and also lost 6 yards on an end-around play after getting hit by Las Vegas defensive end Maxx Crosby. Williams, who now has three drops in three games, finished with two catches for 16 yards.
QB breakdown: Jared Goff completed passes to eight different targets, going 26-for-37 with 272 passing yards and one touchdown. He did throw a pick-six in the third quarter, however. Goff continued to utilize tight end Sam LaPorta, tossing him an 18-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Over the past two seasons, Goff has thrown 16 touchdown passes to tight ends, which is the second most in the league behind Patrick Mahomes (22) during that span.
Next game: at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 12)
Las Vegas Raiders
The return of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo failed to ignite the Raiders’ offense as they dropped their second straight game to fall to 3-5.
So anemic was the offense under Garoppolo, who missed the previous 2½ games with a back injury, that Detroit outgained Las Vegas 486-157. Indeed, it was the oft-ridiculed defense that kept the Raiders in the game, at least, until the Lions broke the game open in the fourth quarter. The Raiders have a short week before next facing the New York Giants at home.
Describe the game in two words: Unhappy homecoming. Crosby, who donated $1 million to his nearby alma mater Eastern Michigan’s athletic department, showed out in his return to the Motor City with numerous pressures and a strip and fumble recovery, but it was not enough to tip the scales in the Raiders’ favor.
Promising trend: The defense produced three takeaways. A fumble recovery by linebacker Robert Spillane, a pick-six by Peters and a fumble recovery by edge rusher Crosby kept the Raiders in the game, even if Peters’ INT was the only forced turnover to result in points for the Raiders.
QB breakdown: Sure, Garoppolo missed 2½ games with a concussion and a back injury, but the quarterback, whose biggest selling point upon signing with Las Vegas was his familiarity with the scheme and his winning pedigree, does not look comfortable. Consider his first-half stats: 3-of-8 passing for 31 yards without a completion to a wide receiver and an end zone interception for a 9.9 passer rating.
Eye-popping Next Gen stat: Peters is only the third player in NFL history with a pick-six for four different teams, joining Deion Sanders and Terrell Buckley. Peters had two pick-sixes with the Kansas City Chiefs, two with the Los Angeles Rams and two more with the Ravens before his 75-yarder with the Raiders at Detroit. In fact, he has six career INT returns of at least 50 yards, tying Darren Sharper for second most in league history (Sanders had seven).
Next game: vs. Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)