Lions vs. Vikings Week 5 Report Card: Another week, another heartbreak for Detroit
By Zach Payne
Full disclosure, I had started writing this section with about three minutes left in the game. I had the defense graded with four stars. Then Jalen Reeves-Maybin forced a fumble to give the offense a short field to work with, so I bumped it up to four-and-a-half stars.
Then the Vikings effortlessly marched down the field facing a three-man rush, so I downgraded the defense again.
Overall, considering expectations, this was a really good day for Aaron Glenn’s unit. Any time this defense can hold an opponent to under 20 points, it’s a success. That being said, many people will blame Glenn specifically for only rushing three on the final drive (more on that later).
Best defensive player: S Tracy Walker III
This an impressive game from Walker, he was absolutely everywhere on the field. Any time he had a chance, he was hitting opponents with serious force. Walker has been pretty good all season, but this was a truly great game for one of the lone remaining bright spots on this injury and talent-depleted defense.
He also had a pass breakup that resulted in an interception.
Worst defensive player: CB Amani Oruwariye
Through no fault of his own, Oruwariye had a bad day against Justin Jefferson. But we all kind of knew that would happen.
Oruwariye is great at covering taller receivers that focus more on contested catches because of his size and length. Where he struggles a bit is against quicker receivers and good route runners, and Jefferson is an elite route runner.
The Lions gave more attention to Jefferson in the second half, which slowed him down, but he still racked up 124 receiving yards.
Oruwariye is still a good player, he just was dealt a bad hand this week.
Special Teams- 4/5 Stars
Another week, another Jack Fox highlight.
Seriously though, what an unbelievable punt.
The special teams were good, Austin Seibert returned and made all three field goals, including one from 52 yards away. The kick and punt coverage was good too, nothing to complain about.
I would like to see Detroit do better on their own returns. Kalif Raymond returned two punts and showed some flash, but didn’t get the blocking he needed to get a good run-back.