We’ve long lamented the Detroit Lions’ four-year streak of failing to produce a 100-yard rusher in a game. But on Sunday, the Detroit Lions finally put a different—just as damanging—streak to an end.
For the first time in over two years Matthew Stafford finished a game without getting sacked.
In the previous 35 games, Stafford had been sacked a total of 98 times, including one in every single one of those 35 games. But for the first time since Week 10 of the 2015 season (against the Packers on Thanksgiving), Stafford was kept clean. And while the Bucs entered the game with a league-low 17 sacks, the Lions managed to keep them at bay for a whopping 44 Stafford dropbacks.
It was far from a perfect performance from the offensive line. The Buccaneers still tallied three quarterback hits, and the Lions offensive line committed four holding penalties, two of which killed drives. Still, considering the countless injuries Stafford has suffered in just this season alone, it was a relief to see the Lions quarterback leave the game no worse for wear than when he entered it.
The Lions were able to keep Stafford clean even with their offensive line beat up. Detroit was missing right tackle Rick Wagner. T.J. Lang only practiced once this week. Travis Swanson was coming off a knee injury that caused him to miss a game last week.
But the Lions benefited from strong play from Wagner’s replacement, Corey Robinson. According to Pro Football Focus, Robinson finished with the third-highest grade among Lions players, earning a 84.4 mark.
Though Stafford didn’t have his best day with the additional protection, he was certainly efficient. He completed 81.8 percent of his passes for a solid 8.7 yards per attempt and a 91.7 passer rating.