Jeff Okudah Scores Signature Play to Help Lions’ Career Take Off

Jeff Okudah

Getty Jeff Okudah celebrates a big play by the Lions defense in 2022.

The Detroit Lions drafted Jeff Okudah in 2020 with hopes of him being the kind of player that could change a game by himself. While they have had to wait to see that come to fruition, it’s been worth it for the team.

So far this season, Okudah has been a superstar in the making for the Lions, but even though he was locking down opposing wideouts and having games in which he piled up the tackles, he was still missing the spicy play for the Detroit defense.

Lions fans can finally wait no more. In the fourth quarter with the team needing a huge play on defense, Okudah stepped up and delivered a beauty. He got in front of a Justin Fields pass and took the ball to the house to help tie the game for the Lions.

Okudah needed a signature moment to get his career going, and this was it. The game-changing play helped spur the Lions defense, and they would go on to win the game as a result of this score.

Afterward, Okudah seemed to take pride in the big play for the Lions, and understood how it changed the game for his defense.

“It was honestly a crazy moment. On the sideline we were saying we gotta get a turnover. So I take a lot of credit in making that play for our defense,” Okudah would say after the game when speaking to the media.

So far, it’s been a special ride for Okudah this season with the Lions, and it’s not something he is taking for granted all.

“Honestly I’m just enjoying this year. I’ve been through a lot these last two years. I don’t take any of these moments for granted. I’m enjoying every single moment because you never know when a moment will be over,” he said.

Lions fans hope this ride with their top cornerback never ends. He’s been so impressive this year, and is taking on the look of a star at a major position of need. Perhaps this play can be the one that jump-starts a star career with Detroit. Often times, all it takes is one such play for a player to gain confidence and move forward.

What other lessons were learned from this game? Here’s a look at some other key takeaways from a major road win.

Aidan Hutchinson Sealed the Deal for Detroit

What can’t Aidan Hutchinson do for the Lions? The rookie continues to quietly impress with a big season on the field, and brought it again for the Lions in Week 10.

While Hutchinson was being run all over the field and being forced to make tackles, he saved his best work for last. Hutchinson was able to secure a huge sack on Chicago’s last drive of the game.

During the game, Hutchinson did a decent job as a tackler as this play showed. He was able to leap around and make big stuffs on the field. As a whole, he had eight tackles and one sack on the day to lead Detroit defensively. Better than that, he was the kind of defensive closer up front the Lions have long needed.

Unheralded Lions Wideouts Steal the Show

While the team had a major performance from a couple star players such as Amon-Ra St. Brown as well as Jamaal Williams, some of the biggest plays of the day were turned in by underrated players.

Tight end Brock Wright got into the end zone to keep the good vibes going for the Detroit offense at a key position. Late in the game, Tom Kennedy showed why he is trustworthy with a major catch to get the Lions in the red zone again.

While the Lions have injury issues at wideout, the players who have called upon have still stepped up and delivered. Credit to them for getting it done.

Lions Could Use a Justin Fields

During the game, Justin Fields showed his age when he made some key mistakes and in the end, he couldn’t pull out the victory for Detroit. Still, he had an exciting day and flashed brilliance. Along the way, he may have proved what the Lions need on offense.

Fields hit a major 67 yard home run that nearly won the game for Chicago, and was just one of multiple dynamic plays on the day.

Detroit’s offense moves just fine with Jared Goff, but the Lions need to think about finding a player that can hit the home run like Fields and perhaps has more polish as a down-field thrower. Though Fields is still growing, the Lions could use a player like that to help their offense move forward into the future.

With Detroit’s picks likely to be high, it could be the perfect time for them to strike while the iron’s hot to land a top quarterback that can bring some razzle to the field.

Lions’ MVP: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wide Receiver

The Lions didn’t manage to get Amon-Ra St. Brown into the end zone, but they did get a huge day out of the wideout to help in securing the victory.

St. Brown, one of Detroit’s only healthy wideouts, managed to go for 10 receptions and 119 yards on the day. He was able to make big plays for the Lions when they needed them to move the chains, and was just as slippery and effective as a runner when the Lions would flip the ball to him quickly.

Lions’ Stat of the Game

Two, that was the number of penalties on the day. The Lions had collected only a pair of penalties for 15 yards, which was a very solid day of discipline. By contrast, the Bears were the much sloppier team.

While lots of Chicago fans at Soldier Field didn’t seem to like some of the calls, the fact is, the Bears took over Detroit’s mantle as a team that melts down and makes the key mistakes. Chicago collected 86 yards in penalties on the day, which isn’t a big time recipe for success.

Lions’ Quote to Note

“We battled our way back and they stayed true to what they’re being coached to do and they made the plays they had to to win the game.” -Dan Campbell. After the game, Campbell loved the way his team responded and what they were able to do in terms of being a gritty team and rebounding well.

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