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 closer look at what PFF had to say about the Detroit Lions and their dominant victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, shall we?
With the First Pick
Calvin Johnson: +4.2
LaAdrian Waddle: +3.5
Joique Bell: +2.1
Riley Reiff: +2.0
Matthew Stafford/Larry Warford: +1.6
Jed Collins: -1.2
George Winn: -1.2
Jeremy Ross: -0.9
Travis Swanson: -0.9
Brandon Pettigrew/Golden Tate: -0.3
Surprisingly enough, the offense received a total run blocking grade of +3.6. Up until the fourth quarter, I thought the offensive line did an abysmal job of creating holes for their ball carrier.
LaAdrian Waddle earned the highest grade other than Calvin Johnson on offense, yet he was credited with giving up the most QB hurries and one of the only sacks on Stafford.
PFF’s grading system can really puzzle you sometimes, but regardless I thought the offensive line did improve with the return of Riley Reiff and Larry Warford.
Speaking of which, both Reiff and Warford landed in the top five grades on offense. As a Lions fan, you have to feel a whole lot safer with both of these guys back from injury.
The offense has been on fire the past couple weeks. Though they’ve beaten up a pair of poorly ranked defenses, that’s better than not being able to score a single touchdown for two straight weeks.
Joseph Fauria was unable to crack the top five, but if points were awarded for twerking, then Calvin Johnson better watch out.
The Lions’ passing attack will face a much tougher test next week when they face off against the 6th ranked passing defense of the Minnesota Vikings.
DeAndre Levy: +3.5
Cassius Vaughn: +2.9
George Johnson: +2.5
James Ihedigbo: +2.5
Ezekiel Ansah: +2.4
Jason Jones: -3.8
Devin Taylor: -1.2
CJ Mosley: -0.9
Darius Slay: -0.5
Darryl Tapp: -0.5
There weren’t many poor grades that were handed out yesterday, with the exception of Jason Jones’ -3.8 overall grade. After yesterday’s performance, Jones now has the lowest combined grade on the year for the Lions’ defense at -10.0.
DeAndre Levy continues to make plays defensively and earns the highest grade on defense, but I was most impressed with the way Cassius Vaughn played yesterday. Maybe I’ve just come to expect greatness from Levy week-to-week, but Vaughn looked like a whole new player against the Bucs.
Vaughn did a much better job putting himself in a position to make a play on the ball. He did not create any turnovers, unfortunately, but he wasn’t a liability in coverage like we’ve seen in the past.
I feel like James Ihedigbo’s grade may be a little too generous. His one interception was a ball that was tipped directly into his chest, and he ended up turning the ball over shortly after making the decision of taking the ball out of the endzone.
I’m glad that PFF didn’t hand out a harsh grade for Darius Slay, because I felt like he just ran into some bad luck on a few plays. He was called for two separate pass interference penalties, one of which I felt should have been called on the offense.
Slay also made a nice athletic play where he nearly had an interception, but of course he tipped it right to Mike Evans who did a phenomenal job of keeping his feet inbounds.