After each Detroit Lions game this season, I’ll give each unit a grade and some thoughts about their performance. Here is this week’s report card for the win over the Chicago Bears.
On a day when Matthew Stafford was not as his best, the Lions still left Soldier Field with a win. Beyond the first drive of the game where Stafford went 6-7 with a touchdown, the Detroit signal-caller looked off. He finished 18-35 for 219 yards and three touchdowns. A costly interception in the fourth quarter on an overthrow could have been worse, but led to just three points.
Running Backs: B+
Against a Chicago defense plagued by injuries, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell were successful to the tune of 146 rushing yards. It was expected, yes, but on a day when Matthew Stafford wasn’t at his best it was also needed. A poor showing in the screen game, including a couple drops, brings this grade down slightly.
Wide Receivers: B-
The receivers are particularly hard to grade today. Calvin Johnson hauled in two touchdown passes, but only caught 6 balls on 17 targets, and without re-watching the game (I’ll get to that later this week), I can’t tell whether they were on Johnson or Stafford. Durham was quiet after catching a touchdown in the first, while Jeremy Ross made a solid impact with two catches. Nate Burleson can’t come back soon enough.
Tight Ends: A-
Brandon Pettigrew was a legitimate threat running the seam route against the Chicago Cover 2, hauling in 5 passes for yards. Joseph Fauria even got in on the action, making one catch for 25 yards and also making an appearance in the red zone after a two-game absence.
Offensive Line: A
Julius Peppers has 12 sacks in 11 career gms as a Bear against the Lions
— Matt Shepard (@ShepMatt) November 10, 2013
Riley Reiff was tasked with a tough assignment in Julius Peppers and held him in check the entire game. In fact, Peppers finished with just 1 tackle. The rushing attack was effective, and Stafford was sacked zero times. Major props to the offensive line for getting the job done this week and for the most part, the entire season.