There weren’t a lot of positives to take from the Detroit Lions’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, as the team failed to do much of anything right in all three components of the game: offense, defense and special teams. But let’s look through Pro Football Focus’ analysis to see where the biggest problems lied and try to find any silver linings in an otherwise miserable game.
Let’s start with the good:
Michael Roberts impresses in biggest role yet
The Lions’ fourth-round draft pick played in his highest percentage of offensive snaps on Sunday, and he certainly made the most of it. Aside from his one catch for 23 yards, Roberts also shined as a run blocker. According to PFF, Roberts earned an 81.7 overall grade and was mostly used as a run blocker.
Additionally, Eric Ebron was effective in the exact opposite role. Playing in passing downs on 26 of his 29 snaps, Ebron earned an 82.6 game, hauling in all four of his targets.
Graham Glasgow is good
Overall, PFF ranks Glasgow as the No. 17 guard in the NFL, but his value clearly goes beyond that. Making his first 2017 start at center this week, Glasgow put up the third-best grade among all NFL centers in Week 13 (not including Sunday or Monday Night Football). Per PFF, Glasgow did not allow a single quarterback pressure, was the most effective run blocker on the team, and tied Eric Ebron for the Lions’ highest grade against the Ravens (82.6).
The rest of the offensive line is not
Detroit had to deal with a shuffling roster of offensive linemen when T.J. Lang and Rick Wagner both left with injuries, and that resulted in another poor performance from the front four. Corey Robinson was the biggest offender, earning grade of just 40.2 and an awful 31.5 run-blocking grade.
The Lions desperately tried to get to Joe Flacco on Sunday, and they just couldn’t. Per PFF, the Lions sent Tahir Whitehead and Jarrad Davis to blitz a combined 16 times in this game. They only managed three pressures.
The rest of the defensive line combined for just four pressures, all coming from the edge. However, none of those pressures came from Ezekiel Ansah, who couldn’t get near the quarterback on all 20 of his pass rushing snaps. He did, however, provide a boost in the running game, evening out his overall grade to 75.0.
Defensive backs take a step... back
It was not a good day for the Lions’ secondary, and the worst offenders were Detroit’s most reliable defenders. Darius Slay—now the league’s No. 14 cornerback—earned just a 40.8 grade.
Quandre Diggs, who has been one of the more pleasant surprises for this Lions defense, graded out even worse. Playing mostly safety in replacement for injured Tavon Wilson, Diggs earned a 39.1 grade, giving up five catches on seven targets for 60 yards and two third-down conversions.