The Detroit Lions have done a decent job covering kickoffs and punts much of the 2019 season, but amid the team’s losing streak, everything that could go wrong certainly has.
So it only stands to reason how the Lions would suddenly have issues covering kickoffs against the Washington Redskins. After a tough start to the game with Steven Sims ripping off a big return, the Lions kicked the ball once again to Sims, and this time, he burned them for a huge touchdown.
Sims bobbled the ball, then scooped it up and took off nearly untouched for the massive kick return. Here’s a look at the play:
The long run put the Redskins up over the Lions 10-3 at the time, and was the only touchdown of the first half for either team. Detroit has been sloppy with the football, and the Redskins have not been able to muster much offense as well. To that end, this touchdown by Sims might loom large by the time the game is over.
Steven Sims Stats
Sims, an undrafted free agent out of Kansas in 2019, has made an impact in Washington with his speed. Though Sims has not been featured much this season with only 51 yards receiving, it’s clear his impact can be felt the most on the special teams side of the ball.
While at Kansas, Sims was a decorated wideout putting up 2,582 yards and 19 touchdowns. While Sims never had a kickoff return for a score in college, he did put up 564 return yards with the Jayhawks, which was a very solid total for the player. Sims clearly has the speed to be an impact player at the next level.
Lions Special Teams Playing Well
It was a bit stunning to see the lions cough up such a long play on special teams given the work their coverage units had been putting in this season. Particularly, the team had a dynamic duo of former high end draft picks playing well on the field.
Though their impact during normal defensive series has been limited at best, the duo of linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and safety Miles Killebrew have carved out quite an impactful role on special teams thus far this season. The duo has helped the Lions become one of the more solid teams in the league in terms of punt coverage, and has been good on kickoffs as well.
Recently, the Lions revealed that the duo is tied for the league lead in terms of special teams tackles with 11 each, which has helped boost and bolster the team’s overall work in terms of special teams coverage.
It’s great to see both Reeves-Maybin and Killebrew working hard and making a large impact on the field and making Detroit’s coverage units so tough. In the past, the Lions have struggled with regards to this, so it’s a breath of fresh air to see this duo leading an impressive resurgence.
Detroit may have coughed up a big play to Sims, but sometimes, the player makes a big play and gets the job done. That was the case once again with this play.