After each Detroit Lions game this season, I’ll give each unit a grade and some thoughts about their performance.
Matthew Stafford raised this grade substantially on the final game-winning drive. The poise, confidence, and decision-making he showed allowed Detroit to head into the bye week with a win. He did throw two interceptions, one his fault, which brings his grade down slightly.
Running backs: B
I predicted in the SLR staff predictions both Reggie Bush and Joique Bell would each rush for one touchdown. (I have to point this out, because it’s the only time all season that I’ll get something right.) Bell looks healthy and deserves more carries in the future. Bush, aside from some East-West running, produced a solid game on the ground. Bush’s fumble drops the grade to a B.
Wide Receivers: A
What more can be said about Calvin Johnson’s big day? He caught nearly everything thrown his way. Kris Durham had a huge catch on the game-winning drive. You hate to see Ryan Broyles go down with yet another injury, and the hope is that things are better in his Achilles than initially thought. This grade isn’t an A for two reasons: a Megatron fumble and a Sean Lee interception that bounced right out of Johnson’s hands.
Tight Ends: F
Brandon Pettigrew had a huge drop on a critical drive in the fourth quarter. The run blocking by Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria was the worst it has been all season. The personal foul on Fauria solidifies this grade.
Offensive Line: B
The maulers up front played well upon initial viewing. They did allow some penetration early on, but as the game progressed the running backs were able to find holes. Give the Lions’ front office credit for nabbing LaAdrian Waddle as an UDFA as he has performed admirably in fill-in duty at the tackle position. Stafford was sacked just once and had time to find receivers all day.