This was kind of a rough game at time for the Lions’ defense. But they had some really good moments too.
The defensive grade almost has to be split in two because the Packers only played Aaron Rodgers and Davonte Adams in the first half, before deferring to Jordan Love undrer center in the second half.
To open up the game the Packers went on a long touchdown drive that took nearly half of the first quarter. Rodgers was making quick passes, and his receivers were getting open.
But for the rest of the half, the defense held its own. Green Bay was forced to punt multiple times before they eventually broke through again.
The second half was even more up and down, as the run defense started to fall apart and Green Bay was able to erase the Lions’ lead. Despite giving up more, Detroit was also able to generate three turnovers–two led to points and the third ended the game.
Overall the defense played decently in stretches, but it was geneally fairly subpar. But making plays when it counted gives he unit a passing grade for Week 18.
Best defensive player: S Tracy Walker
In potentially his final game as a Lion (he’s set to hit free agency, Walker put up 14 tackles to bring season total to a career-high 108.
To top it off, he sealed the game with an interception.
Honorable mention: NT Alim McNeill
Coming into this game I was particularly interested in watching Levi Onwuzurike. However, it was the other rookie defensive tackle that caught my eye.
McNeill was a force to be reckoned with, no one on the Packers could not block him one-on-one.
McNeill was part of a run defense that struggled, but he chipped in a few nice pass rush reps to round out his day.
Worst defensive player: LB Derrick Barnes
After such an incredible couple of games in the preseason, the hype for Barnes was through the roof. Against the Packers, he offered a glimpse of why he struggled to find playing time.
In a bit of what I will call Jarrad Davis syndrome, Barnes is a bit of a loose cannon on the field. He brings athleticism that is absent from the rest of the linebacker room, and he excels going downhill to meet a runner in space. He also is a good tackler.
However Barnes, like Davis before him, is prone to shooting the wrong gap or taking himself out of the play due to the aggressiveness he plays with.
He also struggles in coverage. There were a few instances where Barnes would drop into coverage and not realize there was a receiver in his zone.
There was one instance where the Packers used some clever play design to force Barnes into coverage on a wide receiver, which went about as you would expect.
Barnes has talent, and he certainly has potential. He just has to get more experience. He’s one of the candidates to show the biggest improvement from year one to year two.