What a difference a week makes. After Week 14's loss to the Chicago Bears, thinks were looking bleak for the Detroit Lions. Many aspects of their play were going the wrong direction over the last month.
Six days later, the Lions returned to form in a big way. A dominant offensive performance, with a very solid defensive performance along with it. The Lions played exemplary complementary football, like they did earlier in the season.
This was the best Detroit has looked since Week 5 against the Panthers. Dominance on both sides of the ball, except this time it was against one of the hottest teams in the league. They even played well in the third quarter for once. It was exactly the type of game the Lions needed to have.
Here's our Lions' report card for Week 15.
Detroit Lions Week 15 Report Card: Lions simply dominate the Broncos
Offense: 5/5 Stars
448 total yards, 42 points, and zero turnovers. Exactly what the doctor ordered for the Lions' offense. Now granted, it took a second for the engine to start. The first quarter featured three Jack Fox punts, and he punted once after that.
A big part of the success against the Broncos can be attributed to the offensive line. The starting unit was reunited, as Frank Ragnow returned from injury. The result was absolute dominance up front. The only way the Broncos got pressure on Jared Goff was when they blitzed, even then the Lions did a good job at slowing the pressure.
In the run game, it was an even higher degree of success. On 28 rushing attempts the Lions averaged 6.6 yards per carry. Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery had massive lanes to run through and took full advantage of them.
It’s hard to dissect the cast of weapons in this game because so many had great games. Gibbs, Montgomery, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, and even Jameson Williams, who had a career-high in receptions with four. It is not a hyperbole to say everything clicked for the Lions’ offense.
Offensive player of the game: QB Jared Goff
Part of the reason that so many offensive players had great games was because Goff was distributing the ball at an elite level. He looked a little rattled early, but once he was confident his offensive line would keep him upright he started to dismantle the Broncos' defense.
Goff was comfortable throwing all over the field. And it resulted in five touchdown passes, tying a career-high. All five came in the red zone, but that’s not to say Goff wasn’t throwing downfield. He was simply taking what was available to him, and giving his receivers a chance to make plays, which they did.