The eye-test doesn’t always seem to match up with Pro Football Focus’ grades. Sometimes our eyes deceive us and we’re guilty of selective memory. Sometimes PFF’s individual grading system shows its flaws. It’s clear one of those things happened on Sunday.
Quandre Diggs struggles?
You read that right. According to PFF, Diggs didn’t just have a bad day in his second start at safety, he had a miserable game against Tampa Bay. His overall grade of 41.2 is a bit shocking to see, especially considering he forced two turnovers, nearly had a third, and 37 percent of you voted him as Player of the Game.
PFF rationale was his coverage skills. According to the site, Diggs allowed five first downs in coverage on Sunday.
Interestingly enough, two other Lions defensive backs graded out extremely well. Glover Quin (83.5) and Darius Slay (84.8) both ranked in the top five of Lions players on Sunday, and both created turnovers of their own.
Golden Tate still breaking tackles
For a long time now, Tate has led all NFL receivers in broken tackles. He continued to extend his lead this week after making two Buccaneers defenders miss on Sunday. He has now avoided 20 tackles, seven more than any other receiver.
As a result, Tate had the Lions’ best PFF grade with a score of 87.0. This was the second-highest receiver grade of the week, prior to the Sunday and Monday night football games.
Corey Robinson fills in admirably
Rick Wagner had been one of the Lions’ most consistent offensive linemen all year, so when he went down with an injury last week, it was yet another blow to this Lions’ front five.
But Corey Robinson finally got a chance to play at his more natural position, and he thrived. According to PFF, Robinson did not allow a single pressure on 49 pass protection snaps and earned himself a grade of 84.4. He was part of the reason Matthew Stafford wasn’t sacked in a game for the first time in over two years.
Shockingly, Graham Glasgow was not much help. The much-improved left guard took a huge step back, allowing six pressures and two hits. His pass blocking grade was 2.2. No, I’m not missing a number there. 2.2. That’s the worst pass blocking grade by a guard recorded by PFF all year. Overall, he earned just a 28.3 overall mark.
Theo Riddick runs poorly but grades terrifically
Riddick came out of the bye week hot, averaging 4.5 YPC from Weeks 8-12. But since Ameer Abdullah has been out with a neck injury, Riddick has failed to average 3.0 YPC in back-to-back weeks.
But despite only running for 29 yards on 10 carries against Tampa, PFF actually loved how Riddick performed. He earned a 78.9 overall grade, likely thanks to his six receptions for 64 yards. Then there’s this:
Theo Riddick was really really good yesterday. Forced 9 missed tackles on 16 touches. Only RB to have more was Alex Collins and his 10. With another strong game Riddick now ranks 15th among RBs with an overall grade of 80.7.— Brett Whitefield (@PFF_Brett) December 11, 2017
Nine missed tackles on 16 touches? That’s truly incredible. And it’s pretty surprising to see Riddick ranked 15th among all running backs.
In case you were wondering where Ameer Abdullah stands:
I just realized that Ameer Abdullah is the worst-graded running back in the league, according to ProFootballFocus.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) December 11, 2017
Ezekiel Ansah bounces back
After a year filled with injuries and disappointment, Ansah finally had a bounceback game against the Buccaneers. The Lions’ pass rusher finished with two quarterback pressures, one sack, three run stops, and an overall grade of 74.6.
Compare his performance to A’Shawn Robinson, who struggled mightily to make any sort of impact. Robinson only recorded one tackle and was, in PFF’s words, “completely ineffective defending the run.” His overall grade of 37.9 ranked him 85th among all interior defenders this week.