As the 2018 season has rolled on, with each team having already played at least five games, there are several glaring conclusions that can already be made. While it might be too early to determine which teams are the top contenders, many situations surrounding players have been clarified.
One of the most pleasant surprises so far this season has been the play of second-year wide receiver Kenny Golladay. While he struggled at times during his rookie campaign in 2017, Golladay has come out on fire to start this season. Previously nicknamed BabyTron, in respect to former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (who was nicknamed MegaTron), the 6′ 4″ receiver possesses a lot of similar physical traits as the all-time great Johnson. Their size and speed combination are glaring to anyone watching them play, and they have elite athletic ability for anyone that size.
Coming into the season, Golladay was being overlooked. After all, his teammates Marvin Jones and Golden Tate had already carved themselves a consistent piece of the receiving pie. But Golladay is a truly special talent, who has the potential to become a dominant force in the Lions’ passing attack.
To illustrate just what the young guy can do, he started off the year with seven catches for 114 yards in an opening day home clash against the New York Jets. He followed that performance with another six receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. In the ensuing two games, Golladay has taken a slight step back, but still managed to put up a combined ten catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. It’s clear he is still developing, but by the time this season is over, we could be looking at the next biggest star at the wide receiver position.
Meanwhile, teammates Golden Tate and Marvin Jones have contributed to the overall success of the offense as well. Tate has already accumulated 23 catches for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Matthew Stafford likes to target the sure-handed receiver early and often, with Tate acting as the safety valve, and generally runs many of his routes closer to the line of scrimmage. Particularly following the departure of former Lions tight end Eric Ebron to the Indianapolis Colts, Tate is needed more than before to provide a security blanket for Stafford.
Marvin Jones has not played up to what we all thought he would do heading into the season. To be fair, he successfully raised everyone’s expectations with a great 2017 season. But despite the relatively slow start, Jones still sits with 233 yards and two scores on the year, despite only hauling in 15 catches so far. There’s no doubt he can do better, and if all of these guys step up their game and play up to their potential, the Lions could field one of the absolute best passing attacks in the entire NFL.