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 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Matthew Stafford did some good things today, including three touchdowns. He also got no help from his receivers, save nice touchdown catches from tight ends Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew. His four interceptions cost Detroit the game, though he is not necessarily at fault for two of them. However, he failed to see two defenders that ended up making great plays on the ball. One went for a touchdown. There’s the difference.
Running Backs: D
Reggie Bush had a few nice runs, but his vision was, for the most part, off today. He seemed to miss cuts and lack any sort of fight for extra yards. He also dropped at least two passes. Joique Bell was clearly not himself, seemingly going down on first contact all game. I also believe (with no replay available just yet) that Theo Riddick missed his block on the blocked punt. We’ll talk more on that later.
Wide Receivers: D-
Calvin Johnson caught 7 passes for 115 yards about as quietly as Calvin Johnson can. Even after Darrelle Revis left the game at halftime, bracketed coverage did not allow Johnson to break loose. Nate Burleson had a great first half in his return from injury, but was quiet in the second half. Kris Durham had arguably his worst game as a Lion, committing a fumble and a crucial false start. Overall an extremely disappointing effort.
Tight Ends: C
Brandon Pettigrew had some rough spots, especially in run blocking, but also made a nice touchdown catch. Joseph Fauria made his return to the endzone, catching the only pass intended for him.
Offensive Line: B-
This actually was not a terrible effort by the maulers up front. They’ve seen better days run blocking, but still managed to open up some holes. Stafford was 2-2 on QB sneaks moving behind Larry Warford. Every week I’m more impressed by this offensive line’s ability to get downfield and make good blocks.