Defensive Line: D+
Is this grade lower than they deserve? Perhaps, but with big expectations comes harsh criticism. Green Bay ran right at Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh, seemingly able to gain 5, 6, or 7 yards at will. A lack of pressure on Aaron Rodgers also brings this grade down. To be fair, Ziggy Ansah deserves credit. He’s special folks.
DeAndre Levy continues to play at a Pro-Bowl level this season. Stephen Tulloch quietly played a nice game as well. Jermichael Finley did find open zones in the middle of the field often, but the linebacking corps were arguably the best defensive unit of the day.
Facing Aaron Rodgers and his seemingly endless offensive weapons is not easy task, yet they held him to just one touchdown and less than 300 yards (much of which came on the touchdown play to James Jones). That play, along with poor tackling brings this grade down. Chris Houston looked a step slower than normal. Detroit needs him healthy.
Special Teams: B+
David Akers nailed his only field goal attempt, and Sam Martin again showed why he was a worthy selection last April. The coverage units did a nice job limiting return yards on punts. This grade is not an A solely for the reason that Detroit’s return game is non-existent.
I can’t speak too critically of the coaching staff today. Admittedly, I am not Jim Schwartz’s biggest fan. However, Detroit’s defense gave up just 22 points to an offensive juggernaut while, with the exception of a few big plays, keeping the Pack largely in check. Offensively, they had to play without the best receiver on the planet. This grade is a bit lower, however, for this one reason. If Calvin Johnson didn’t practice all week, you’d think they would have had a better game plan for when he was out of the game. It hurt to watch this offense at times. The play calling lacked the creativity needed to utilize the weapons without Megatron on the field.