Although Detroit lost the game 33-28, it was encouraged by the re-emergence of the running game. And in particular, electrifying rookie tailback Ameer Abdullah.
Abdullah, selected in the second round of the NFL draft, finished with seven rushes for a team-high 50 yards, plus caught four passes for 44 yards. Toss in his work as the starting kick returner, and his 199 total yards were easily a team high.
His 50 rushing yards were the most by a Lions draft pick making his rookie debut since Barry Sanders rushed nine times for 71 yards against the Phoenix Cardinals in 1989. It was enough to make even the greatest receiver on the planet take notice.
"The guy has some shake-n-bake, man," receiver Calvin Johnson said. "He can get up and down the field for us."
Abdullah wasted no time flashing that shake-n-bake ability. He took his first career carry and veered right before sensing the hole to his left. So he cut back the run, and suddenly found himself in the open field, with only safety Eric Weddle standing between him and the end zone.