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Lions-Jaguars PFF Grades: The Stafford-Tate Connection

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Examining the best and worst individual performances from the Detroit Lions' preseason victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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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.

Let's take a closer look at what they had to say about your Detroit Lionswin over the Jacksonville Jaguars, along with my thoughts on Friday's game and some analysis.

Offense

Best Grades

Golden Tate: +2.0
Matthew Stafford: +1.4
Riley Reiff: +1.3
Braxston Cave: +1.1
Jeremy Ross: +1.1

Worst Grades

Taylor Boggs: -2.3
Laken Tomlinson: -1.9
Xavier Proctor: -1.5
Emil Igwenagu: -1.5
Cornelius Lucas: -1.2

Analysis

Friday's game was considered a "dress rehearsal" for the first-team offense, with only a few starters missing from the lineup. The obvious bright spots were Stafford and Tate, who hooked up for a beautiful 62-yard web gem that finally got the Lions on the board. Both of these players are having one hell of a preseason and the chemistry is definitely there.

Manny Ramirez took over at right guard for Larry Warford on Friday, which allowed the Lions to get a better look at Laken Tomlinson with the first-team offense at left guard. Apparently PFF was none too impressed with his performance and gave him negative grades for both pass blocking (-0.7) and run blocking (-1.3). Many (including myself) believe that Tomlinson will start at LG over Ramirez Week 1, but could it be closer than we're led to believe?

Hey look! Riley Reiff! It's been a fairly quiet training camp for Reiff and I guess you can consider that a good thing. He played the entirety of the first half on Friday and didn't give up any pressure from the left side. Cornelius Lucas wasn't as fortunate and gave up two QB hurries, along with being flagged for illegal formation.

Taylor Boggs' struggle was mostly due to a very low run blocking grade (-2.4). His strong start to the preseason has since cooled, and I'm not so sure about how strong his chances are to make the final 53 anymore. I'm sure he'll get plenty of reps against the Bills next Thursday to redeem himself.

Despite the low grade, it appears that the Lions really like Emil Igwenagu and it was brought to my attention (I sort of forgot and remembered) that he has played both fullback and tight end in the NFL. If the Lions were serious about keeping both Michael Burton and Igwenagu, it's entirely possible that Igwenagu could serve as the No. 3 TE over Fauria.

Defense

Best Grades

Isa Abdul-Quddus: +2.8
Isaiah Johnson: +2.5
Tyrunn Walker: +2.1
Phillip Hunt: +1.5
Kerry Hyder: +1.2
Brandon Copeland: +1.2
Brian Suite: +1.1

Worst Grades

Darryl Tapp: -2.0
Roy Philon: -1.8
Crezdon Butler: -1.7
Nevin Lawson: -1.5
Jermelle Cudjo: -1.4
Travis Lewis: -1.4
Erik Williams: -1.4
Corey Wootton: -1.3
Quandre Diggs: -1.3
Glover Quin: -1.2

Analysis

There were a ton of players in the green and red for Friday's game and that's a pretty good representation of how up and down the defense was versus the Jaguars. Backup safeties Abdul-Quddus, Johnson and Suite all had solid performances, while Quin did not. Although Quin didn't look spectacular, I think it's hard to place much blame on him when the linebackers in front of him were blowing plenty of coverages left and right.

Tyrunn Walker has been a force on the defensive line and continued to run right through people to get to the QB. This guy is incredibly strong. I'm excited to see what he can do during the regular season. Like Boggs, Cudjo has cooled down a bit after a strong first half of preseason action. His negative grade was a result of just 23 snaps and he failed to cook up any pressure in the backfield.

If PFF grades are any indication of who the starting slot corner is going to be, then you might as well hand Josh Wilson the job right now. Diggs and Lawson are both struggling through three games with -4.1 and -3.0 overall grades, respectively, while Wilson is sitting pretty with a +2.6. Again, take these grades with a grain of salt, but it's something worth noting.

Phillip Hunt was my dark-horse candidate to make the team this year and he's making a very strong case for himself. Through three games he's tallied five QB hits and three QB hurries for eight total pressures* (most on the team). To put that in perspective, Larry Webster has been on the field for five more pass rushing snaps and has six less total pressures on the preseason.

*Combination of QB Sacks + QB Hits + QB Hurries

Special Teams

Best Grades

Kyle Brindza: +2.3

Worst Grades

Sam Martin: -1.4

Analysis

Brindza had a strong night after nailing a 51-yard field goal and also booted two of his three kickoffs into the back of the end zone for a touchback. The Lions have indicated that Matt Prater is their guy, but Brindza could be trade bait for teams that haven't been as lucky with their kicker competition.

Sam Martin had a bad night and only gained 28.0 net yards on his four punts. I'm over it. He'll be fine.