The Detroit Lions picked up another impressive win on their resume in Week 11 with a 20-19 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Detroit’s four victories have now come against teams with a combined 22-17-1 record.
But let’s go back to last week’s performance. Which Lions players stood out in Sunday’s thrilling win over the Panthers? Let’s see what football analytics website Pro Football Focus had to say.
Kenny Golladay had a big day as the Lions picked up the win over the Panthers. pic.twitter.com/ZsufkfWzSL— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 19, 2018
It obviously no surprise that Kenny Golladay leads the Lions offense. The man single-handed took over the offense and led the Lions to the game-winning score. With eight catches and 113 yards, Golladay came in at 11th in receiving yards for Week 11. According to PFF, Golladay notched a career-high 88.9 receiving grade on Sunday, and we all saw the impressive block he threw on Kerryon Johnson’s 9-yard touchdown run.
Speaking of Johnson, the Lions’ rookie running back was just behind Golladay with an excellent 82.6 PFF grade. The two young offensive weapons give the Lions real reason for optimism going forward, and even free agent addition Bruce Ellington could stick around and be a Golden Tate-lite for this offense.
It’s a little surprising to see that only Rick Wagner made the top five among offensive linemen, especially considering Wagner was responsible for Detroit’s only allowed sack of the game.
The streak is finally over. For the first time since being acquired prior to Week 8, Damon "Snacks" Harrison (@snacks) is not the highest graded defender in a game for the @Lions. He has been dethroned by rookie Tracy Walker (@TracyWalkerIII) pic.twitter.com/Td8duGKdYR— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) November 19, 2018
Rookie Tracy Walker barely made PFF’s snap requirement, playing the exact minimum 15 snaps in order to qualify. But on those 15 plays, he certainly made an impression, earning the Lions defense’s best grade by far. His interception helped the Lions maintain the lead into halftime, and he added a tackle, to boot.
So far, the Lions have only used Walker in situational roles, but the third-round rookie has thrived in them. According to PFF’s Brett Whitefield, Walker has notched at least 15 snaps in three games thus far, in those three games Walker has a collective PFF grade of 86.1.
It’s no surprise to see Da’Shawn Hand and Damon Harrison among the top five on defense, as they seem to crack the top five every week. However, it’s downright shocking to see three safeties make the list on a day in which Cam Newton was tearing apart the Lions’ secondary. Tavon Wilson played in 50 percent of snaps and was valuable in stopping the run, notching four tackles on the day.
Of course, it would all make a lot more sense if I could show you some of the cornerback grades...