Despite Detroit being down both of its top two running backs in David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, quarterback Jared Goff was mostly unfazed, throwing for 353 yards and two passing touchdowns on 30 of 44 passing. He was precise on his short and intermediate throws, and his 45-yard deep shot touchdown strike to Jameson Williams was exactly what the Lions needed to put the game away. Defensively, they held the Buccaneers to 2-for-12 on third down despite Baker Mayfield entering Week 6 as the NFL’s most efficient third-down passer. It felt like Detroit could have had more than 20 points, but that’s nit-picking. The Lions look strong as they’re off to a 5-1 start, tying their best six-game opening to a season in the Super Bowl era.
The Buccaneers had chances to make this game much more competitive. Baker Mayfield had two open deep balls to rookie Trey Palmer, but he just overthrew him on both attempts. Neither of their Pro Bowl wide receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, could create much separation. Their defense played well for the most part with the exception of the 45-yard touchdown they allowed to Jameson Williams. They could only do so much after the Lions possessed the football by nearly an entire quarter longer (36:30-23:30) than their offense. Despite not being able to beat one of the NFC’s contenders, they put up a good enough showing to give plenty of reasons to believe they can win the NFC South once again.