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Notes: Football Outsiders loves the Detroit Lions

The analytics website had a lot of nice things to say about the Lions after Week 1.

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

  • Next, Football Outsiders released their weekly DVOA rankings (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) and the Lions rank fifth overall. They’re bolstered by the highest rated offense in the league, which counterbalances their 28th ranked defense.

Stafford finished this game on fire, completing eight of his last nine passes for 114 yards. Seven of those completions gained at least 10 yards and a first down, including a go-ahead touchdown. The eighth was a 9-yard gain on first-and-10. Over and over, he and the Lions exploited the Colts' vulnerable underbelly for catch-and-run gains. He went 7-of-8 on passes over the middle for six first downs and 108 yards -- 39 through the air, 69 after the catch. Stafford was fantastic when throwing to his running backs, but we'll save that for the next table.

  • The next table they’re referring to is their top five running back performances of the week, which includes two Lions: Theo Riddick (second) and Ameer Abdullah (third).

It’s worth noting that Football Outsiders’ stats heavily rely on the “defense-adjusted” aspect, meaning adjusting offensive performances based on the specific defenses they’re playing against. Since this is Week 1, Football Outsiders doesn’t have any data from defenses to adjust numbers, so they do not factor that in. Down the line, if the Colts’ defense continues to look as bad as they did on Sunday, the Lions’ numbers will go down.

  • Ameer Abdullah made NFL’s top five runs of the week:

  •’s Andy Benoit was impressed with Taylor Decker’s NFL debut:

  • The “WCF” patch on the Lions jersey, which posthumously honors former owner William Clay Ford, is here to stay:

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