Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Wide Receiver Report Card

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Nate Burleson

July 18, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Movie actor Will Ferrell eats a slice of pizza with Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) before throwing out the first pitch before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


Oh, sorry. That’s not a picture of Burleson, that’s a picture of Ryan Dempster and Will Ferrell eating pizza. How did that get there?

Seriously, with all the pizza-related shenanigans, first with his injury, and then with an unusual (and awesome) promotion, some might forget that Burleson had just posted a 100-yard game for the Lions against Washington and was actually the team’s leading receiver early in the season.

If not for the troubles brought on by falling pizza, Burleson could be in the middle of one the best years of his career. Instead, he’s the butt of pizza jokes. He should be a huge contributor when he returns, though.

Grade: C



Burleson started the 2013 season playing very effectively, and was a huge part of the Lions starting 2-1. When he plays well, he brings balance to the passing attack, and gives Stafford a consistent guy to look for when Megatron is being blanketed by the entire secondary.

Despite missing a large portion of the season with injury, Burleson remains a strong locker room presence. We’ll see just how much impact he has on the field when he returns.

Insert potentially tasteless joke about “impact” with a median on I-696 that I’m too lazy (or too considerate) to write.

Grade: B-


Vs. Expectations

On one hand, Burleson greatly exceeded expectations with no less than six receptions in each of his first three games. But the injury has brought things back to earth, so maybe this levels out right in the middle.

Grade: C



The Lions are in position for a playoff run, and getting Burleson back will help with that in a big way. It’s just a shame he’s had to miss as much time as he already has.

Something something pizza. Am I right?

Grade: B-

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