There was, rightfully, a lot of concern about the Detroit offensive line heading into this game. Starting tackles Riley Reiff and Corey Hilliard were both questionable with injuries, while nominal starting right tackle Jason Fox was still recovering from a groin issue, which had kept him out for weeks.
Reiff wound up playing at left tackle, and he played pretty well. The pleasant development of the game was the play of right tackle LaAdrian Waddle. In his first career start, the undrafted rookie from Texas Tech handled veteran end George Selvie adeptly.
Selvie got one hit on Stafford but was largely invisible during the game. He only recorded one tackle in the early box score from ESPN.
Waddle was guilty on the one Dallas sack when he failed to pick up Jason Hatcher on a pretty outside twist move. Hatcher looped from his inside tackle position clear around the right end and planted Stafford late in the fourth quarter.
Yet on the day, Waddle did nothing to curb my enthusiasm for his future potential. The Lions plucked a future starter at offensive tackle from the college free-agent pool. That future might even come as soon as now; Waddle has been better than Hilliard in pass protection in his limited duty.
This was also an excellent game for left guard Rob Sims. As I noted in the fourth quarter:
The Dallas defensive line has been decimated with injuries, but nonetheless, the Detroit offensive line paved the way for a 623-yard offensive output. That doesn't happen without great line play.