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Lions-Vikings PFF Grades: Ansah shines, offense collapses

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The Detroit Lions collapsed before the Minnesota Vikings after a sizzling start by their offense. We take a look at the individual performances from Sunday's loss.

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

If you're not aware by now, Pro Football Focus is a website that focuses on grading NFL players for their individual performances based on an in-depth review of every snap for every game. If you're interested, here is a look at their grading system.

It was not a pretty game, to say the least. The offense got off to a hot start and faded away from the second quarter on. Let's take a closer look at the individual performances from Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Offense

Best Grades

Riley Reiff: +3.4
Calvin Johnson: +2.3
Cornelius Lucas: +1.6

Worst Grades

Eric Ebron: -3.2
Larry Warford: -2.1
Golden Tate: -2.0
Laken Tomlinson: -1.5
Matthew Stafford: -1.2

Analysis

You know you're having a pretty bad day when Cornelius Lucas earns one of your highest grades on offense. All kidding aside, Lucas has done a pretty solid job when the Lions need a sixth offensive lineman. On 12 total snaps, he earned a +1.3 run grade and didn't give up a single pressure (only 5 pass blocking snaps).

Despite an impressive (and arguably his best) performance in the passing game, Eric Ebron was absolutely brutal in pass protection vs. the Vikings. On just 11 pass blocking snaps, Ebron gave up three QB hurries and was given a -3.0 pass blocking grade. He now has a -2.3 pass blocking and -4.6 run blocking grade through seven weeks this year.

Matthew Stafford got out to yet another hot start, but was held in check for the rest of the game after his offensive line struggled to leave him any protection whatsoever. Stafford now sits in dead last out of 36 QBs with a -15.9 overall grade on the year.

On the bright side, Calvin Johnson is still Calvin Johnson and now has the fifth-highest grade among 107 qualifying receivers with a +10.7 overall grade. Small victories, I guess?

Defense

Best Grades

Ezekiel Ansah: +3.7
Josh Bynes: +2.6
Jason Jones: +2.1
Stephen Tulloch: +2.0
Caraun Reid: +1.7
Tahir Whitehead: +1.4

Worst Grades

Rashean Mathis: -1.8
Andre Fluellen: -1.3
Glover Quin: -1.2
Darryl Tapp: -1.0

Analysis

It's a real shame that the Lions are basically wasting Ezekiel Ansah's talent while they dissipate into the complete mess that they've become. I guess you could say that about a handful of other players on this team, but Ziggy is really having himself a hell of a year right now. And that's without a whole lot of talent next to him on the defensive line. Ziggy's 15 total pressures over the last two games account for more than half of his total pressures (28) on the entire season. He is now the third-most productive pass rushing 4-3 DE in the NFL via PFF's pass rush productivity (PRP) stat.

Josh Bynes has also been a bright spot for this defense. As DeAndre Levy's replacement at WILL, Bynes has been on the field more than any other linebacker for the Lions and has earned the highest grade (+4.2) among that unit as well. His +6.6 run defense grade is the best on the team.

The secondary was absolutely awful against the Vikings on Sunday. This could be Mathis' final year in the NFL, because I'm not sure how much he has left in the tank at this point. He was targeted eight time against the Vikings and gave up six catches for 112 yards, a touchdown and a 156.3 QB rating. Not good.

Special Teams

Best Grades

Sam Martin: +1.6

Worst Grades

Don Carey: -1.5

Analysis

I hate special teams.