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Lions PFF grades: Defensive reserves struggle big time against Redskins

Examining the best and worst individual performances from the Detroit Lions' preseason loss to the Washington Redskins.

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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 of every game. If you're interested, here is a look at their grading system.

It's time to see what they had to say about the Detroit Lions' preseason defeat to the Washington Redskins, along with my thoughts on Thursday's game and PFF's grades.


Best Grades

Matthew Stafford: +1.6
Emil Igwenagu: +1.5
Jeremy Ross: +1.4
Zach Zenner: +1.4

Worst Grades

Manny Ramirez: -2.2
Larry Warford: -1.6
Dan Orlovsky: -1.6
Al Bond: -1.3
Corey Robinson: -1.3


PFF is pretty spot on with most of their offensive grades for Thursday's game (in terms of what I saw), with the exception of giving Dan Orlovsky a bad grade. I'm not exactly sure how you can say Orlovsky had a bad night, but maybe I'm just used to him being a miserable backup for comparison. I thought he did well against the Redskins.

Matthew Stafford has put himself together a very good camp and his two preseason performances have been an extension of that. I'm really looking forward to seeing if he can improve upon last year's numbers.

I've been pretty vocal in my distaste for keeping Jeremy Ross on this team, but I have to give credit where credit is due. He looked very good as a receiver on Thursday night -- not so much as a returner -- and I'm starting to accept the fact that he's probably not going anywhere.

Corey Robinson has had a rough time with penalties dating back to his college days and things haven't really changed a whole lot. I've seen him get flagged plenty during practice and now the false start vs. the 'Skins. I expect he'll be a prime candidate for the practice squad.

Emil Igwenagu's grade was based 100 percent on his run blocking. Let's see what play may have impressed the guys over at Pro Football Foc--


Also, Zach Zenner is pretty good at this whole football gig.


Best Grades

Kerry Hyder: +3.6
Travis Lewis: +3.3
Julian Stanford: +1.9
Ezekiel Ansah: +1.5
Tyrunn Walker: +1.5
R.J. Stanford: +1.4
Darryl Tapp: +1.2

Worst Grades

Gabe Wright: -3.8
Kyle Van Noy: -3.5
Jermelle Cudjo: -3.4
Larry Webster: -3.2
Quandre Diggs: -2.7
Chris Owens: -2.1
Isaiah Johnson: -1.1


Not a good night for the second- and third-team defense, unless your name is Kerry Hyder. Gabe Wright, Kyle Van Noy, Jermelle Cudjo and Larry Webster all received low grades for getting manhandled in the run game. I wouldn't get too worried about Cudjo's performance because he's had a great camp, but he's still on the bubble right now, fighting for a spot. Wright has shown us exactly what he is, which is a rookie. He just needs some time to develop, because I'm seeing the same negatives I saw with him at Auburn.

I'm a little surprised that Van Noy didn't receive an even lower grade. His -2.2 grade in pass coverage was a little generous to me, but sometimes it's difficult to place blame when there is a lot of miscommunication going on. Still, it appeared that he was right in the middle of at least three or four mishaps that led to big plays, including a touchdown. His counterpart, Travis Lewis, had himself a great night and led the team with seven tackles and five stops*.

Larry Webster is destined for the practice squad. At this point, I would be shocked to see him make the final roster. He's just not ready to play defensive end in the NFL and his pass rush is non-existent.

Many criticized Nevin Lawson's performance last night, but it was Quandre Diggs who ended up earning the negative grade. Honestly, I wasn't all that impressed with either of those guys. Josh Wilson actually looked pretty solid on the second-team defense as an outside cornerback. I would consider all three of these guys a lock, but the starting nickel job is still completely up in the air right now.

This is just awesome. Tyrunn Walker absolutely destroyed Brandon Scherff and the Redskins' offensive line on Thursday. The first-team defense is going to be just fine, guys.

*Constitutes a solo defensive tackle made which constitutes an offensive failure (including sacks).

Special Teams

Best Grades

Sam Martin: +1.1

Worst Grades

TJ Jones: -1.1


Sam Martin was efficient and nestled a couple of punts inside the 20-yard line, as well as booted both of his kickoffs into the back of the end zone for touchbacks. TJ Jones' negative grade is most likely due to him misjudging a punt, while subsequently dropping the ball before picking it up and running directly out of bounds. Not good.

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