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Detroit Lions Week 4 PFF recap: 5 top performers on offense, defense vs. Cowboys

A look at the top performers from Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Lions.

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Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions were seconds away from victory in Week 4, but a last-minute defensive hold was just not in the cards against a Cowboys offense that did what they wanted for most of the afternoon.

That being said, there were plenty of individual performances on Detroit’s side that were promising, and Pro Football Focus shared the top five on each side of the ball. Here are the Lions’ top graded players on offense and defense from Sunday.

Offense

We didn’t need PFF to give us a grade to let us know that Golden Tate was the most valuable offensive player on Sunday. The eight catches (on eight targets) for 132 yards and two touchdowns made that pretty darn clear. Tate earned PFF’s highest grade of all Week 4 receivers, landing him on their Team of the Week.

It’s also not surprising to see Matthew Stafford with such a high number. He completed 80 percent of his passes for a whopping 10.2 yards per attempt. His 90.2 PFF grade was second among all NFL quarterbacks Sunday, trailing only... [CHICAGO BEARS QUARTERBACK NAME REDACTED FOR SANITY’S SAKE].

Kerryon Johnson apparently had a solid game, despite little production outside of two carries, adding fuel to the GIVE KERRYON MORE CARRIES fire. Rick Wagner continues to be quietly solid, and Kenny Golladay is definitely in the middle of a breakout season.

Defense

It took Dak Prescott a little time to realize that throwing to Darius Slay was a bad idea, but he finally learned. Slay was only targeted six times all game, forcing four incompletions and getting his hands on three passes, and the two completions Dallas managed went for just 20 yards total.

More surprising is seeing two other defensive backs this high on the list. Glover Quin seems to have found his footing in the past two games, despite a really slow start to the year. And while Nevin Lawson always seems to get higher grades than he deserves, the maligned Lions cornerback did find himself in good positions to make plays against the Cowboys. He also nearly had his first-career interception thanks to a savvy play.

I’ve already gushed a little about Da’Shawn Hand on Tuesday morning, but let’s do it a little more. You may remember that through three weeks, Hand was the highest graded rookie interior defender with an overall grade of 78.4. Though his Sunday grade was slightly lower than that average, his overall grade is actually even higher right now—sitting at 81.4, between PFF’s “elite” and “good” rating categories. Against the Cowboys, Hand produced two pressures, including what was almost a game-sealing strip sack. As a result, his 90.8 pass rush ranking was second highest among all interior defenders on Sunday.