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.
Again? Is there some sort of ever-lasting ubiquitous law out there that tells us the Detroit Lions have to lose in the most heart-breaking fashion over and over? I'm not going to sit here and blame the officials or point fingers and put the loss on one person, but the fact that the Lions are on the butt-end of yet another controversial ending is gut-wrenching. When will it end?
Despite the distressing outcome, the Lions looked really good on both sides of the ball for a large portion of the game. I know it's tough to take anything positive away from Thursday night, but let's take a closer look at the individual performances from Thursday's loss anyway, shall we?
Michael Ola: +2.5
Golden Tate: +2.4
Larry Warford: +2.2
Laken Tomlinson: +1.8
Calvin Johnson: +1.3
Matthew Stafford: +1.1
Brandon Pettigrew: -4.1
LaAdrian Waddle: -2.0
Riley Reiff: -1.5
Michael Burton: -1.4
Eric Ebron: -1.1
Losing Michael Ola late in the game hurt the offense a lot. He has done a phenomenal job of stepping up to the plate at right tackle this year. After Ola went down, Waddle came in and was penalized twice on 24 snaps. He also earned a -1.9 run blocking grade.
Speaking of poor run blocking, Brandon Pettigrew's -4.1 grade had almost everything to do with his inability to open up holes in the run game. Pettigrew has a combined -10.2 grade over his last four appearances, most of which has to do with his faulty technique as a run blocker. He is now ranked 60th among 69 total TEs via PFF.
Reiff also had a rough game and allowed five total pressures, including a crucial missed block that resulted in a sack fumble. Reiff is set for a $8 million hit next year and is playing nowhere near as good as he should be to earn that kind of money. If you ask me, the Lions would be better off moving on from Reiff's contract and drafting a left tackle next year.
Jason Jones: +2.7
Haloti Ngata: +2.1
Devin Taylor: +2.0
Quandre Diggs: +2.0
Ezekiel Ansah: +1.9
Nevin Lawson: +1.8
Darius Slay: +1.3
Isa Abdul-Quddus: +1.3
Darryl Tapp: +1.1
Wow. Not a single grade below -1.0. Aside from losing the game on poor execution against a hail mary, the defense did a wonderful job on Thursday. You can't really blame them for the second TD that came after the strip sack and the first touchdown was a pretty flukey one. Jason Jones and Devin Taylor both played out of their minds rushing the passer, so much so that they both saw more snaps than Ziggy Ansah.
Abdul-Quddus had a rough game in pass coverage (-1.9), but dominated against the run (+2.8), ending the game with nine tackles and seven stops. Quandre Diggs has earned a +1.0 overall grade or higher in four straight games now and is truly developing into a solid slot corner for the Lions -- something they have desperately needed.
Nevin Lawson built off of his strong performance in Lambeau and had another impressive day in coverage.
Nevin Lawson against Packers: @ GB: 16 tgts, 7 catches for 57 yds (53.4 QB Rating) vs. GB: 6 tgts, 2 catches for 9 yds (42.4 QB Rating)— Alex Reno (@alex_reno) December 4, 2015
Darius Slay was targeted a combined three times against the Packers this year and did not give up a single catch. SHUT DOWN.
Sam Martin: +1.7
Matt Prater: +1.1
George Winn: -1.5
I don't recall why Winn would have received such a low grade on special teams, but he did miss a tackle. So maybe that's it. Sam Martin had a hell of a game and Prater was money.