If you are not aware by now, Pro Football Focus is a website dedicated to grading NFL players’ individual performances based on in depth review of every snap of every game. If you’re interested, here is a look at their grading system.
Let’s take a quick look at what PFF had to say about the Detroit Lions and their defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, shall we?
With the First Pick
Riley Reiff: +0.6
Golden Tate: +0.4
Kellen Davis: +0.4
Travis Swanson: -4.2
Matthew Stafford: -3.7
Eric Ebron: -3.3
Rob Sims: -3.2
LaAdrian Waddle: -2.6
When you can’t punch in a single touchdown for an entire game, then it’s not much of a surprise to see very few positives offensively. In fact, Pro Football focus handed out positive grades to just three of 17 Lions players on offense.
One name I was surprised to see not given much praise was running back Joique Bell.
Bell was given a -0.4 grade on 40 snaps and I thought he did pretty well for himself. Any day you run for 85 yards on 14 carries is a good day if you ask me. Bell was looking like his old form yesterday and it was nice to see him bursting through holes and breaking a couple of tackles. He even leaped over a Cardinals defender to extend the play.
I also felt like Ebron did an okay job minus a few blocking errors, but PFF disagrees.
I didn’t really focus on Travis Swanson at all during yesterday’s game, but his -4.2 doesn’t exactly make me feel warm inside.
A shocking development shows us that Matthew Stafford and the offensive line continue to struggle. A lot.
Ndamukong Suh: +2.7
DeAndre Levy: +2.5
Tahir Whitehead: +2.3
Darius Slay: +1.7
Rashean Mathis: +1.7
Cassius Vaughn: -2.1
Andre Fluellen: -1.1
George Johnson: -0.9
Ashlee Palmer: -0.4
Jason Jones: -0.4
Levy’s +2.5 grade really surprises me. As a huge DeAndre Levy fan, I thought he was terrible yesterday. In fact, he’s been bad in coverage all year. Teams continue to take advantage of running their faster receivers on shallow crosses and targeting Levy and it’s been working for them. Levy has been spectacular against the run, but has hit a slump when in coverage.
Cassius Vaughn was targeted early in the game and had no luck against a bigger receiver in Michael Floyd. He was embarrassed on a deep toss where Floyd boxed Vaughn out like it was a game of basketball and it was easy money for the third year receiver out of Notre Dame. I still can’t put a finger on why that matchup even existed at any point of the game.
Aside from the first two drives of the game, the defense really stepped it up and put the Lions in a position to win the game. Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis continue to exceed expectations, and Tahir Whitehead has done a good job of filling in for Stephen Tulloch. Josh Bynes did a great job with a +1.3 grade on just 21 snaps as well.
Ndamukong Suh continues to impress and remains the number one graded defensive tackle in all of football via PFF.