A big reason why the defeat played out in the end was untimely penalties. Detroit totaled seven penalties for 59 yards on the day, and the majority of those came late on cornerback Amani Oruwariye.
Oruwariye was flagged for multiple pass interference penalties in the loss, and as he said after the game to the media, he felt some of the calls were borderline, especially given the solid work the Lions did on Justin Jefferson.
“I thought once they knew we were taking 18 out, the first one, that illegal contact, even (Adam) Thielen came up to me and was like ‘come on, that wasn’t a flag.’ A couple of those were questionable, but I mean at the end of the day, it’s flags. I gotta just clean up the little things like that and be better.”
While Oruwariye might have disagreed with the calls, he clearly knows he can’t put himself in position to be called for them in the first place. Even though he might disagree with the calls, Oruwariye is going to push through.
Penalties or not, the Lions had a chance to be a lot better in the closing minutes of the game and were still in a position to win. That’s something they will have to hang their hat on this week.
Oruwariye: Lions Must Rally Together
No matter whether the calls were borderline or not, the Lions need to find a way to get better discipline on the field. They also cannot let their confidence fracture according to Oruwariye.
Coming off a tough, close loss, the Lions have to stay together and keep confident, something teams of the past may not have been able to do.
“We just got to make sure we don’t get down on ourselves like the old Lions. Obviously I think everyone knows (we’re) a different team, even in a loss like that so we just gotta rally around each other,” he said to the media.
Stepping up in Week 4 will be the goal for the Lions now, and they will have to find a way to get that done.
Oruwariye’s Career Stats & Highlights
Thus far this year, Oruwariye isn’t having a huge start to the season with 13 tackles and one pass defended in two games, but injury slowed him down prior to Week 2.
During the 2019 season as he started into the league, Oruwariye didn’t do much statistically for the team early either, as he battled a knee injury. After that point, though, he surged.
Oruwariye finished 2019 with 2 interceptions and 19 tackles for the Lions, but has been a player who has delivered before given his work in college. During the 2020 season on the field, he had 53 tackles, 1 interception and 7 passes defended, meaning he was easily able to eclipse his statistical work from last season, setting him on a good trajectory.
While playing for Penn State, Oruwariye put up 108 tackles and 8 interceptions while scoring 1 touchdown. Last year, he showed up big for the Lions with tons of big plays. In total, Oruwariye had 57 tackles, 11 passes defended and 6 interceptions. Here’s a look at his highlights:
So far in Detroit, he’s shown an ability to step up and stick in coverage and might be the best cornerback on the team at this point in time.
Hopefully, Oruwariye doesn’t lose his confidence and can rebound for Detroit. Flags or not, the cornerback has a lot to offer and will be an important piece the rest of the year for the team.