Despite looking improved on offense and somewhat stout on defense the Detroit Lions picked up their fourth loss of the season on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. To find out what went wrong, let’s look at some notes and grade from our friends at Pro Football Focus.
Don’t blame Matthew Stafford
According to PFF, Stafford put up an overall grade of 81.5, which was the fourth best score of any quarterback in Week 8 (not including “Monday Night Football”). He completely five passes that traveled at least 20 yards down field and was the third-highest graded Lions player on the day.
The best offensive lineman for the Lions was...
Indeed, Glasgow earned an 80.9 grade, allowing just one single pressure on 49 pass blocking snaps.
As for the worst, despite praise all night from color commentator Cris Collinsworth, left tackle Brian Mihalik earned just a 35.3 game grade, while Travis Swanson was even worse, grading out at 28.5. Those two allowed 10 pressured between them, and Swanson was particularly bad at run blocking.
Jones Twins powers: Activate
While Golden Tate saw limited action because of his shoulder injury, T.J. Jones and Marvin Jones both had breakout games against the Steelers. T.J. earned the second-highest grade on the team with a score of 82.8, while Marvin Jones wasn’t far behind with an 81.9 grade. According to PFF, T.J. is now the 19th ranked wide receiver in the league.
Darius Slay, lockdown status: achieved
Slay’s overall grade of 79.2 was dinged a bit because of his costly pass interference penalty at the end of the game, but everything else was good news. Overall, Slay just allowed two catches (on six targets) for 13 total yards. Against all-star Antonio Brown, Slay only allowed one catch for 9 yards.
Defensive line troubles are here to stay
Three of the Lions’ starting four defensive lineman put up really bad grades against the Steelers. Anthony Zettel (56.2), Ezekiel Ansah (54.6) and Akeem Spence (42.3) all failed to consistently create a pass rush, as the three combined for just seven quarterback pressures all game.
On the other hand, A’Shawn Robinson put up a heck of a score at 81.5. He was disruptive in the running game, produced a pressure of his own, and got one of his patented A’Swats.
Jalen Reeves-Maybe a starting linebacker
Jalen Reeves-Maybin was the top performer on the Lions’ defense on Sunday. He had four pass defense stops and three run stops on just 22 total defensive snaps. HIs performance landed him with an impressive 83.0 PFF grade, which was eighth highest among NFL linebackers this week (not including MNF).
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