It’s hard to see a silver lining in the Detroit Lions 2017 season on the heels of an embarrassing loss to the Bengals that effectively ended their season. But, believe it or not, there were actually some impressive individual performances in the stinker of a game. Here is Pro Football Focus’ recap of Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals.
Graham Glasgow continues to thrive, the rest of the offensive line doesn’t
If 2017 is any indication, Graham Glasgow may turn out to be one of Bob Quinn’s best picks from his first draft. The former third-round pick had one of the best days among all NFL centers:
Highest graded centers from Week 16 pic.twitter.com/LvQCi23O2S— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 27, 2017
Glasgow’s overall grade of 74.2 ranks just 22nd among all NFL guards, but would place him 11th among centers.
Glasgow did not give up a single pressure on Sunday, but three other Lions offensive linemen gave up five a piece: Joe Dahl, Don Barclay and Corey Robinson. Barclay was especially awful, earning just a 28.2 grade (the worst from either team) thanks to two false starts in addition to those five pressures.
Matthew Stafford was... good?
The @WesternSouthern QB of the Week, powered by PFF, for Week 16 is Kansas City's Alex Smith pic.twitter.com/biO5F21kLd— Cris Collinsworth (@CollinsworthPFF) December 26, 2017
According to Pro Football Focus, Stafford was really bad against pressure, completing just 7-of-14 passes for 48 yards and a pick. However, his passer rating when having a clean pocket (in just 22 of 38 dropbacks) was an impressive 96.3.
PFF also noted his inaccuracies downfield. “On passes that traveled 10 or more yards in the air, he went 4-of-11 but still got 107 yards with one touchdown and one interception.” But it was his underneath sharpness—15 of 21 for 96 yards—that must have added to his overall grade.
For one day, the Lions had edge rushers
Dwight Freeney earned the Lions’ highest grade on the team, with an 83.0 overall mark. According to PFF, Freeney had one hit and two hurries on 18 pass-rushing stats. And because Teryl Austin just couldn’t help himself, Freeney apparently dropped into coverage once on Sunday—for the first time since 2015.
Ezekiel Ansah not only notched three sacks, but he earned the Lions’ fifth-highest grade with 79.2. I guess at least one of those sacks wasn’t just a clean-up sack.
Tahir Whitedead and Darius Slayed
It wasn’t a good day for two of the more reliable Lions defenders. Tahir Whitehead was credited with three missed tackles and allowed seven catches on nine targets. He also allowed a whopping 53 yards after the catch.
Perhaps more shocking was the day Darius Slay had. The Pro Bowl cornerback’s day started off well enough, notching two quick pass breakups. But overall, Slay allowed a season-high 81 yards on nine targets (six catches) while lined up against A.J. Green. He also had two bad missed tackles. His overall grade was still 61.4, but that’s well below his season mark of 87.4.
Of course, Slay may have also picked up his eighth interception on the year, but it was nullified by an offsides penalty (and was called incomplete on the field).