The Detroit Lions lost a close game at home against a far inferior team in the Tennessee Titans last week. This week, they went on the road against their division rival Green Bay Packers, and the first half looked like it was going to be a rout. The team rallied at halftime and came within one score of the Packers before ultimately succumbing late in the game. Losses are never good and there are no moral victories, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any positives to take away from this one, so let’s look at the stocks.
Stock Up: Marvin Jones, WR
Who else would go first? Marvin Jones had a career day against the Packers with a career best 205 yards, six catches and two touchdowns. Jones wasn’t running very diverse routes, but he was winning on those he ran. He pulled in a contested catch, a deep TD and a sideline grab that required excellent body control and concentration. This is what the guy was signed to do, and so far this season Marvin Jones is not disappointing.
Stock Down: Taylor Decker, OT
Rookie offensive tackles struggle, just in general, so when Taylor Decker started the season hot against both Indianapolis and Tennessee it was a pleasant surprise. He’s bound to have games where he struggles, either due to being over-matched or being schemed against successfully. The Packers game falls into the latter category, as Decker got burned on a stunt to the outside as his first mistake down a precipitous path of rookie mistakes. He ended with a ticky-tack holding call followed by a blown block on Nick Perry for a sack. When given a chance to show he had shook it off, he got completely destroyed by rookie Kyler Fackrell for another sack that he had every chance to win against. He started getting beat early and the Packers simply schemed with him in mind to expose him. Given his early play, I’m confident he can rebound, but this is game tape he’s going to use to learn from all season.
Stock Up: Travis Swanson, OC
It’s worth repeating that Travis Swanson has looked pretty amazing through three games. Coming into this season, he was mentioned as a top-five center by a national writer and pretty much everyone covering Detroit at any level laughed at how that sounded. He has, however crazy it seems, played as a top-five center through three games and it will probably never cease to be surprising. His linemate to his left struggled again as the game wore on, but Swanson kept his poise and seems to be on a different level strategically with his quarterback.
Stock Down: Tyrunn Walker, DT
You could make a convincing case for any of the DL here, but I’m going to give the most amount of crap to the starting DT next to Haloti Ngata. Ngata wasn’t great, but there were times he beat his man soundly and got through the OL, to the point the Packers schemed for that to happen on run plays. Everyone else on the line was being moved around with ease and the chief offenders were the DTs. Like Tennessee, this was a game with no push, no pressure and no positive impact from the defensive line. It’s impossible to place the blame on any one player, but I’m going to single out who had the most snaps. If the snap counts come out and someone else had more, give it to them; at this point they were bad enough that whoever was out there the most was probably the worst.
Anquan Boldin, WR: It wasn’t a great day for Boldin, but he did catch a TD on a brand new play design, so kudos to picking up new tricks, old dog.
Jim Bob Cooter, OC: JBC had a few stalls, but also had some very underappreciated moments such as the Boldin TD that looked improvised, but were technical and noteworthy.
Brandon Copeland, DE: He didn’t have a good day, but after struggling in previous weeks to find an impact, he had at least one good play where he chased Rodgers from the backside across the field, showcasing his speed and athleticism.
Eric Ebron, TE: Ebron is likely going to get a lot of flak for the interception he gave up, and while not blameless, it shouldn’t overshadow his otherwise excellent day receiving.
Zaviar Gooden, LB: No, he wasn’t good, but he wasn’t awful. Coming in on short notice, with little preparation and managing not to suck is worth pointing out.
Kerry Hyder, DE: Your league leader in sacks, Hyder continues to impress even while having a blah day otherwise.
Glover Quin, FS: Quin might move once I rewatch the game, but despite not being able to stop Rodgers, I saw Quin all over the place against Green Bay.
Riley Reiff, OT: I saw very little pressure from his side of the line and I’m beginning to believe he really does belong near the top of the RT rankings.
Matthew Stafford, QB: Stafford got lucky with three interceptions being dropped, but good luck aside he did a great job leading the offense despite no run game and hot pressure.
Larry Warford, OG: As long as his health holds, Warford should continue this sort of promising play and lock down the right side of the line.
Dwayne Washington, RB: Dwayne Washington had a couple nice runs, but it wasn’t what I’d call a good day. Power is still a problem, but his usage and lack of fumbles are a positive sign.
Cole Wick, TE: Wick slid into Ebron’s role when he was hurt during the game. Stafford went right to him on a chain mover route and the offense kept rolling.
Michael Burton, FB: I’m as big a fan of Burton as anybody, but when you have limited snaps, it’s very noticeable when they’re bad ones.
Rafael Bush, SS: Bush nearly redeemed himself with ST—where a punter saved the play—but his work in pass coverage wasn’t good when asked to take over the starting job again.
Thurston Armbrister, LB: Asking a LB to cover a WR isn’t a good spot to be in, but you don’t get brownie points for having a tough job.
Teryl Austin, DC: He semi-redeemed himself in the second half, but in the first half he had a LB cover a WR, then a freaking DT do the same in zone. Then he had a DE trail a TE in coverage. Screw that noise, that’s bad coordinating and play design.
Stefan Charles, DT: The whole defensive line played poorly, and Charles was abused near the goal line against the Packers.
Quandre Diggs, CB: It wasn’t a great day for Diggs, who bit so hard on a very weak outside fake that he gave up a nearly walk-in TD.
Wallace Gilberry, DE: Signed to bring a veteran presence to the DE rotation, Gilberry has apparently been playing on real NFL fields, which you wouldn’t know if you watch the games.
Khari Lee, TE: You know what the Lions really could have used against the Packers? A tight end that can block. Really wish they had one.
Cornelius Lucas, OT: Last time I’m putting him down here for this reason, since we now have a trend, but Lucas is now officially the last OL on the roster. Bad spot to be.
Matt Prater, K: Missing kicks sucks. Missing kicks in close games is even worse.
Theo Riddick, RB: Riddick was schemed for against the Titans, but the Packers didn’t do anything special to bottle him up. One nice play, a bunch of not nice ones.
Andre Roberts, KR: If Roberts isn’t cut this week, it will be my first legit surprise at a roster move that didn’t happen. Consistently made field position worse every chance he had.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT: One of the chief offenders of the no pressure issues.
Darius Slay, CB: I labored over putting him here, since he had some very nice moments. In the end, his bad moments overshadowed those. Just know it wasn’t all bad this week.
Devin Taylor, DE: Never mind the play where he was asked to play in coverage and gave up a TD, that’s on Teryl Austin. No, he’s here because Devin Taylor wasn’t good against Green Bay as a pass rusher or run defender.
Khyri Thornton, DT: Thornton wasn’t good either. This DT group as a whole was just awful.
Laken Tomlinson, OG: He started out good, really good. It fell apart pretty quickly, however, and he couldn’t recover. I expect someone else to man LG in the coming weeks.
Kyle Van Noy, LB: Van Noy got the raw end of some scheming in the first half, but he’s down here mainly due to a lack of physicality as a tackler. I get it, it’s Eddie Lacy, but your job is to hit people, so hit them.
Tavon Wilson, SS: Wilson got hurt and that sucks. Nobody outplayed him in his absence, but any time that opportunity is opened up, it’s not a good thing.
As usual, we’d like to hear from you in the comments. Whose stock do you feel is unfairly represented? Who wasn’t mentioned you feel deserves to be put in one category or the other? Let us know what you think, don’t hold back.