Lions rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay got a lot of hype this summer, but football history is littered with the names of players who flashed on practice fields or preseason games without having the same impact once the lights went on.
For the first three quarters of Sunday’s game, Golladay hadn’t matched the advanced buzz. He had a penalty, a drop and two catches for 14 yards to show for his efforts, but things would take a turn for the better. He went up to haul in a touchdown from Matthew Stafford early in the fourth quarter and then went horizontal on a diving 45-yard score that turned a small lead into an 11-point one with just over four minutes to play.
“That’s a great way to come into this league,” wide receiver Golden Tate said, via the Detroit Free Press. “Big time catches. And a pair of touchdowns that we needed. He set a standard. He better bring that every week.”
Golladay spent time talking about his “rough first half” and there are obviously areas to improve after one NFL game, but the fact that Golladay remained on the field and Stafford continued looking his way was a clear sign of the place he’s earned in the offense already. Golladay showed why in the fourth quarter and Tate isn’t the only member of the team who hopes it becomes a frequent occurrence.