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Lions-Raiders PFF Grades: Is Theo Riddick the Lions' offensive MVP?

The Detroit Lions have earned their first winning streak of the year and are now 3-7 on the season. Here is a closer look at the individual performances from Sunday's game.

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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.

A winning streak! In the midst of an all but lost season, the Detroit Lions have found a way to bring back entertaining football for its fans. Here is a closer look at the individual performances from Sunday's victory over the Oakland Raiders.


Best Grades

Theo Riddick: +3.8
Travis Swanson: +2.4
Matthew Stafford: +2.4
Ameer Abdullah: +1.7
Larry Warford: +1.5
Golden Tate: +1.5

Worst Grades

Riley Reiff: -2.6
Laken Tomlinson: -1.7


The offense looked much, much better than we're used to seeing. As a team, the Lions rushed for 109 yards on 31 carries for 3.5 yards per carry. That's not spectacular by any means, but it got the job done. In particular, Travis Swanson and Larry Warford led the way in the run game with a +2.6 and +1.9 run grade, respectively. Swanson earned his highest grade on the season with a +2.4 overall grade.

Unfortunately, the rest of the offensive line did not fair as well as those two. Riley Reiff continues to struggle in pass protection after giving up five QB hurries and a sack for a -2.8 pass blocking grade. Reiff is now 47th (tied with Gosder Cherilus, oh no!) out of 60 offensive tackles in pass blocking efficiency this year. LaAdrian Waddle remains in dead last.

Matthew Stafford earned his highest grade of the year (+2.4) and is no longer the lowest-graded QB in the NFL (!!). I thought Stafford looked magnificent against the Raiders and that has a lot to do with the improvement of the line and running game.

Let's check in on Theo Riddick...

Full steam ahead. (h/t @nuftjedi)


Best Grades

Josh Bynes: +2.0
Quandre Diggs: +1.7
Haloti Ngata: +1.6
Darius Slay: +1.6
C.J. Wilson: +1.1

Worst Grades

Nevin Lawson: -3.0
Devin Taylor: -1.7
Stephen Tulloch: -1.3
Khyri Thornton: -1.1


Teryl Austin has taken a lot of heat this year due to the regression of his defense. After losing a few key pieces, the unpenetrable Lions defense transformed into one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Give all the credit in the world to Austin for somehow finding a way to make that defense look great again, especially the secondary. With Rashean Mathis out, young cornerbacks like Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs and even Crezdon Butler have all stepped up to the plate and made the most out of their opportunities. Darius Slay has also taken his play up a notch.

Against the Raiders, Slay was targeted just four times and gave up a single reception for 8 yards. That's great against any receiver in the NFL, but doing it against a young phenom like Amari Cooper is sensational.

Josh Bynes also had himself a game against the Raiders and quietly has become one of the big bright spots on this defense with DeAndre Levy out for the year. Bynes' +7.6 run defense grade is the second-highest among all 4-3 OLBs this season.

Nevin Lawson was given a low grade (-3.0), but none of that had to do with the penalty he was flagged for. Instead, Lawson's poor grade was solely a result of his pass coverage (-3.2) and a couple of missed tackles.

Special Teams

Best Grades

Sam Martin: +1.7
Golden Tate: +1.5
Matt Prater: +1.1

Worst Grades



How about a near perfect day on special teams? We haven't seen that happen in the state of Michigan for quite some time.

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