Detroit Lions Week 15 report card: Lions escape from New York with last-minute win
By Zach Payne
The Detroit Lions escaped East Rutherford with a last-minute win over the New York Jets on Sunday, here’s our report card for Week 15.
It certainly wasn’t a pretty win, but for the Detroit Lions the how is not as important as getting it done. All that matters is the Lions managed to hold on for a narrow victory over the New York Jets to move to 7-7.
This game was a removal of the high-octane affairs the Lions have found themselves in over the past several weeks. The Jets’ stout defense kept the Lions in check for most of the game. Fortunately, the Lions’ defense did enough to keep the game close. In the final two minutes of the game, the Lions elevated their play and had a few huge moments to close the game out.
This game served as more proof of the Lions’ growth. This team can win in multiple different ways. Furthermore, the Lions have learned how to make plays when they need them the most.
Detroit Lions Week 15 Report Card
Rushing offense: 2.5/5 stars
Detroit once again had a respectable yardage total on the ground (107), with a poor average yards per carry (3.8). D’Andre Swift was able to generate a bit more on the ground as opposed to the other backs, but he was far from spectacular in this game.
This was a game the Lions desperately needed the run game to reignite, and it really didn’t. Detroit got away with it this week, but as the playoff push continues the run game needs to find its footing again.
Passing offense: 3/5 stars
It was a much different game than the passing attack has had over the last few weeks. The Jets have an elite secondary, and were content to drop seven defenders while forcing Jared Goff to throw into tight windows. For most of the day the result was the Lions getting some yardage, but when a big play was needed they couldn’t come through.
That changed on the final drive, but the Jets laid out a very good game plan for this offense. Goff was forced to throw underneath a lot because the deep routes weren’t developing. The one time a deep shot was there, Goff underthrew an open Jameson Williams on what would have been a touchdown. It was simply a much more tame game than we’ve seen from the offense since Week 9, but overall it was still good considering the opponent.
Best offensive player: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
For the most part, it was difficult for the Lions’ receivers to gain separation. That included St. Brown,, as he was faced with some very tight coverage with regularity. Despite the challenge, he was able to make plays over the middle as he usually does. He was the only consistent piece of the Lions’ offense on Sunday.
Now closing in on 100 receptions and 1,000 yards on the season, St. Brown has been by far the Lions’ best skill position player offensively all season. Week after week his consistency has kept drives alive multiple times per game.
Worst offensive player: TE James Mitchell
As Mitchell grows as a pro, one thing he’s been working on is his blocking. There were a few instances on Sunday where he showed he’s still very much a work in progress in that department. On the opening drive, for example, Detroit faced 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. On the play, Mitchell whiffed on a block which resulted in a stop for the Jets.
Detroit relies a lot on their tight ends in the run game. They cannot afford to have them missing key blocks, especially against a defense as good as the Jets.