Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah continued to produce during NFL preseason play as the Detroit Lions took on the New England Patriots on Thursday, winning 40-9.
Ansah, the former BYU defensive end, recovered a fumble early in the second quarter for Detroit when Patriots running back Shane Vereen put the ball on the ground. Ansah's recovery at the New England 7-yard line led to a Lions field goal.
It is the second time Ansah has been the recipient of a turnover in the preseason, including his pick-6 off New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in Week 1. The Lions forced four first-half turnovers in building a 16-3 lead at the break.
"That’s part of being a good player is putting yourself in those positions," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said when asked if Ansah was in the right place at the right time on the fumble. Teammate Bill Bentley caused the fumble when he hit Vereen. "I thought our front rushed very well. They created pressure. We didn’t blitz a lot, but when we did it was pretty effective."
Detroit entered the game leading the league in preseason action by allowing only 59 rushing yards per game. The Lions gave up 68 to the Patriots, and fellow defensive end Jason Jones had two sacks as the Lions' defensive front put consistent pressure on New England starting quarterback Tom Brady.
"They have a great front," Brady said. "I mean, they have some guys that can really rush the quarterback and put a lot of pressure on the ball."
Later in the second quarter, Ansah was attended to by the trainers after being banged up on a play. He returned to the game quickly, though, and helped provide another big play for the Lions' defense.
With New England trailing the Lions 13-3 and facing a fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 36, Ansah teamed up with DeAndre Levy to stop Patriots running back James Develin for no gain, turning the ball over on downs.
It was Ansah's lone tackle in the game.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @brandonljudd
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company