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 grueling loss to the Green Bay Packers, shall we?
With the First Pick
Larry Warford: +1.9
Calvin Johnson: +1.8
Riley Reiff: +1.4
Golden Tate: +0.5
Theo Riddick: +0.2
Matthew Stafford: -3.3
Eric Ebron: -3.2
Cornelius Lucas: -2.6
Joique Bell: -2.2
Garrett Reynolds: -2.0
Larry Warford earned the highest overall grade for the Lions yesterday despite missing half of the game after suffering an injury. Warford has been by far the best player on Detroit’s offensive line, and if he is not able to play in next week’s wild card game, the Lions are in big trouble.
Matthew Stafford was bad yesterday. Pro Football Focus gave him his third lowest grade on the year after yesterday’s performance. Stafford is going to need to step it up big time next week if he wants to earn his first playoff win as a starting quarterback.
Two grades I was slightly surprised in seeing were Eric Ebron and Joique Bell’s. I thought Ebron did a pretty solid job overall. Yes, he had one bad drop and another that was a difficult catch to make, but I thought he did a great job as a blocker. Well, PFF disagreed and gave him a low run blocking grade which ended up hurting him the most. Bell did a fine job other than losing a fumble late in the game, but the ball never cleanly reached him in the first place.
Garrett Reynolds did a poor job filling in for Larry Warford and earned a negative 2.0 grade on just 39 snaps. The offensive line has already been bad this year for Detroit. In light of the recent injuries and suspensions to their interior, they could really use a guy who can step it up during a big playoff game.
For those who were wondering, Calvin Johnson is still really good at football.
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Ezekiel Ansah: +2.2
CJ Mosley: +1.7
Rashean Mathis: +1.0
Ndamukong Suh: +0.6
DeAndre Levy: +0.5
Glover Quin: -2.6
James Ihedigbo: -2.0
Darryl Tapp: -1.3
Cassius Vaughn: -1.3
Andre Fluellen: -1.2
I know Glover Quin didn’t exactly put on his best performance, but I was a little surprised to see him earn the worst grade on defense. Quin was credited for four missed tackles yesterday, so I guess that’ll do it. He was also penalized for a bone-headed illegal contact call after blatantly bumping and grabbing a Packers receiver over the middle of the field.
Ziggy Ansah was rightfully given the highest grade defensively. He was noticeably great against the run yesterday. He earned a season-high five solo tackles and equaled his highest amount of stops (4) on the year.
Despite earning just a -1.3 overall grade, Cassius Vaughn may have had the worst performance of all. He played just seven snaps in coverage and was benched after getting abused by Randall Cobb in the slot. The Lions have had some awful luck at the nickelback position this year, and they’re still hurting.
James Ihedigbo had another roller coaster type performance. After a couple of crucial missed tackles in the open field, Ihedigbo came back and forced a huge turnover. He was also called for a penalty in the endzone giving the Packers another shot at scoring. The Lions coaches also decided to bench Ihedigbo for the entire third quarter following his poor first half, only to send him back in for the final quarter.