Hunt Report: Aidan Hutchinson’s Monster Day Shows Patience Pays Off

Aidan Hutchinson

Getty Aidan Hutchinson celebrates a Lions win in 2022.

The Detroit Lions got a resurgent performance from their offense and defense in Week 2 leading to a 37-26 win over the Washington Commanders, and it was hard to miss the star of the day.

While the team had a huge day on offense, the reason the Lions were able to sustain a win was due to the defense. It was quite an effort for the team, and rookie Aidan Hutchinson played a leading role.

Hutchinson collected three sacks on the day, and showed off an impressive burst as well as a solid array of moves on the afternoon.

Better than all of this, Hutchinson played through pain and was gritty as they come on the field as things ticked down. He helped put the game away by staying on the field and refusing to stop playing.

After Hutchinson missed a few sacks in Week 1 and did not register on the stat sheet, there was some trepidation and frustration with his first game. This effort proved why nobody should have been giving up on Hutchinson so early in his career, and showed how foolish those questions may prove to be.

There’s a long way to go for Hutchinson in the league, but there was no reason for anyone to be mocking his first week performance or abandoning ship. It’s clear he learned valuable lessons and put them to work on the field.

The NFL is a constant learning curve, and Hutchinson’s major Week 2 shows that nobody should be giving up on him. There’s a chance he will end up the best rookie defender in the league even without a big game right off the bat.

What else was learned from the first successful hunt of the season? Here’s some takeaways.

Amon-Ra St. Brown Is a New NFL Star

It’s hard to ignore Amon-Ra St. Brown as perhaps one of the biggest new young stars in the NFL at wide receiver now, especially after a huge Sunday game against Washington.

St. Brown would finish with a gaudy 116 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He was also the Lions’ leading rusher on the day with 68 total yards on the ground.

Here’s a look at the play:

It wasn’t just that play for St. Brown, however. He caught a touchdown later in the fourth quarter to help pad the Detroit lead a bit further.

At this point, it’s easy to say that St. Brown has broken out for good and is taking things to the next level in terms of becoming an NFL star. He can do a little bit of everything, which will help prove his value to the offense.

Jared Goff Stepped up Huge for Lions

While Jared Goff didn’t have the most accurate day for the Lions offense, he did finish the day with four passing touchdowns as well as make the winning plays that mattered in crunch time.

Goff doesn’t always get all the credit for what the offense is able to do, but he made the big throws he had to make in order to help lead in a winning effort on the field. That’s something his coach saw as well.

“He made some big throws in this game. When you put up the points we put up, it means you’re doing something right. So he did a good job,” Dan Campbell said afterward.

Goff didn’t have a turnover, and was very solid on the day. Give him credit for getting this done and showing up.

Lions MVP: D’Andre Swift, Running Back

On a hurting ankle, Swift delivered an electric 50 yard run as well as perhaps one of the most impressive touchdown catches a running back will ever make.

Swift would finish with 87 total yards and one touchdown on the day, which was solid considering his status into the game was uncertain. That score also came at a critical time to rescue momentum.

Lions’ Stat of the Game

Two, that was the unofficial number of takeaways the team created. While the Lions only had one interception, they did also have a strip sack for a safety in the end zone, which led to points.

Coming into the game, it was easy to see the Lions needed to find a way to get some sudden change plays. While the sack fumble didn’t count as a turnover per-se, it was huge for the Lions in the grand scheme. Along with five sacks, what a rebound for the defense.

Lions’ Quote of the Game

“He’s a pit bull that plays receiver.” -Dan Campbell, on Amon-Ra St. Brown at wide receiver.

After the game, Campbell paid St. Brown perhaps his best compliment yet in terms of his toughness and ability on the field. St. Brown is one of the toughest players on the team and continues to show his grit and physicality with big performances. Arguably, this game was his coming out party to the league.

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