The Detroit Lions are 4-1, which is great. But they have also simply taken care of inferior opponents in a way that's rarely been seen, closing out games with clock-killing, point-producing drives and timely defensive plays.
Against Carolina in Week 5, five Lions earned PFF grades over 90.
Not among that quintet is center Frank Ragnow, who allowed zero pressures on 30 pass blocking snaps against the Panthers and right tackle Penei Sewell, who did the same and posted the second-highest grade among offensive tackles for Week 5 entering Monday Night Football (84.2).
Tight end Sam LaPorta was also not among the five Lions who earned a robust grade from PFF in Week 5. But overall this season....
Pro Football Focus loves the work the Detroit Lions are doing this season
Jared Goff is PFF's highest-graded quarterback through Week 5 (90.6). He has an adjusted completion percentage of 82.9 percent, best in the NFL. He’s also throwing deep with proficiency, with a total of nine "Big Time Throws" (tied for sixth) and a Big Time Throw percentage of 5.5 (tied for seventh).
PFF classifies a “Big Time Throw" as “a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window.”
With a hat-tip to Pride of Detroit, here's a rundown of where other notable Lions rank among their position peers in overall PFF grade so far this season
RB David Montgomery-14th (73.1), No. 1 in forced missed tackles (21)
WR Josh Reynolds-12th (83.0)
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown-13th (82.5)
WR Kalif Raymond-18th (79.5)
TE Sam LaPorta-4th (78.1)
OT Penei Sewell-Sixth (79.9)
OG Graham Glasgow-Second (83.3)
OG Halapoulivaati Vaitai-Fourth (78.6)
C Frank Ragnow-Second (84.8)
DT Alim McNeill-Seventh (87.3)
EDGE Aidan Hutchinson: Fifth (91.4)
LB Alex Anzalone-20th (72.1)
DB Brian Branch-Tied for 9th (79.7)
S Ifeatu Melifonwu-15th (75.2)
S Kerby Joseph-23rd (72.0)
S C.J. Gardner-Johnson-26th (70.7)
S Tracy Walker-34th (68.8)
If you're counting, that's nine Lions among PFF's 10-highest graded players at their position, with some others not far outside the top-10. If you want to dismiss the value of Vatai's grade since he hasn't played since Week 2, there's still eight others who have played a lot and earned top-10 grades.
The value of PFF's grades can be debated, and at times dismissed. But they do offer a look into what players do within circumstances they can control, while often taking out some things that aren't. And when it comes down to it, the success the Lions are having on both sides of the ball is backed up by the individual grades here.