There was plenty of worry going into Saturday’s game about the Detroit Lions’ patchwork offensive line. With center Travis Swanson and right tackle Rick Wagner declared out before the game even started, the Lions were looking overmatched against a decent Bears defensive line.
But the Lions held their own, and it was thanks, in part, to their two backup offensive linemen.
Here are your Week 15 Detroit Lions Pro Football Focus grades.
Joe Dahl and Corey Robinson thrive in spot duty
In his first career NFL start Joe Dahl didn’t only play well, he earned PFF’s Game Ball. Here’s what they had to say about his performance:
The Lions got a huge performance from guard Joe Dahl, who in his first game of the season earned the team’s highest game grade with a mark of 85.3. He was a very effective as a run blocker producing an 88.6 run-block grade, the highest of any Lions offensive lineman this season.
Thanks to that performance the Lions were able to rush for 91 rushing yards on 20 carries.
And for the second straight game, Corey Robinson played extremely well as Rick Wagner’s replacement. According to PFF, he did allow one sack, but was nearly perfect in every other pass blocking snap. Overall, he earned an 84.0 pass blocking grade.
To top it off, Taylor Decker finally seems to be getting comfortable. Decker earned an overall grade of 81.3, the fifth-highest mark on the team.
Jarrad Davis is back
After struggling for a good portion of the middle of the season, Jarrad Davis had a dominant performance against the Bears. Stopping the run was clearly Detroit’s priority on defense, and Davis led the way with an impressive 89.8 run defense grade—including three run stops.
The Lions are continuing to take Davis off the field for passing downs, but his overall grade of 83.2 proves he’s improving a little in that department, too.
Speaking of linebackers, do the Lions finally have a coverage linebacker? Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who often stepped in for Davis on passing downs, earned an efficient 81.4 coverage grade against Chicago.
Glover Quin: Run defender?
Ever since joining the Detroit Lions, Glover Quin has been their reliable centerfielder. Nothing typically got by Quin and if the Lions needed a defensive back playing deep zone, he was their man.
That is not at all how the Lions utilized Quin on Saturday. According to PFF, Quin was located in the box on 85.7 percent of running plays. Perhaps the Lions are feeling a little more comfortable with Quandre Diggs in coverage, instead of the injured Tavon Wilson.
DJ Hay-didn’t play well
While most of the Lions’ secondary was busy making game-changing plays, cornerback DJ Hayden struggled for the second straight game. Hayden allowed four first downs on Saturday and earned just a 39.6 overall grade. Perhaps that explains why Teez Tabor set another career mark in playing time against the Bears.