About halfway through the Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers game, I turned to my buddy Erik Schlitt from Lions Wire and said, “I don’t think there’s a team in the NFL that has a bigger disparity between their No. 1 and 2 rushers than the Detroit Lions.”
Kerryon Johnson was in the middle of a big day, rushing for 87 yards on 15 carries. LeGarrette Blount was in the middle of an embarrassingly bad performance; he would finish with a single yards on seven carries.
Both players were recognized in this week’s Quick Reads over at Football Outsiders. Let’s start with the good.
Kerryon Johnson, according to their DYAR metric (defense-adjusted yards against replacement), was Week 11’s most valuable running back. Here’s how Vincent Verhei explained it:
“Johnson ran for a league-best nine first downs against Carolina, with four runs of 10 yards or more, including a 24-yarder,” Verhei wrote. “That’s a fantastic ratio (a little more than one-quarter of all runs have gained first downs this season) even though his other runs were awfully bad—he was stuffed four times.”
On the other hand, Blount was literally the least-valuable back of Week 11 per DVOA. His -23 DYAR number was well below Kerryon’s 43 DYAR on the day. Looking at each of Blount’s runs, it makes a lot of sense:
Blount Run 1: 3 yards
Run 2: -2 yards
Run 3: -1 yard
Run 4: 1 yard
Run 5: 0 yards
Run 6: 4 yards
Run 7: -4 yards
Blount had nearly as many rushes go for zero or fewer yards than positive yards.
Unfortunately for Detroit, it’s looking more and more likely that Kerryon Johnson will be sidelined for a couple weeks due to a knee injury suffered in the third quarter.
- Watch former Lion Chris Spielman break down three key plays from Lions vs. Panthers:
- Looking to make some last-minute Thanksgiving Day plans? The Lions are selling standing-room tickets for Thursday’s game for $89 a piece.
- It appears offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has responded a bit after watching his quarterback get sacked 16 times in two games:
Telling stat I found, via PFF, while doing some research on a mailbag question. Stafford's average time to attempt the two games where he was sacked 16 combined times, 2.66 s (17th out of 21 qualifiers). This past week, 2.24, fastest among qualifiers.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) November 20, 2018
- Chris Burke of The Athletic has a pretty cool behind-the-scenes look at how Ford Field prepares every other Sunday to host Detroit Lions game (subscription required).
- Will Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky play this week? No one seems to really know:
Despite Mitchell Trubisky suffering a shoulder injury in fourth quarter against Vikings, Bears are optimistic their QB will be able to play Thanksgiving Day vs. Lions, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2018
This is NOT what Matt Nagy just told us but based on what he did say I’d bet Chase Daniels gets his 1st start as a Bear Thursday.— Hub Arkush (@Hub_Arkush) November 20, 2018
- Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report gave the Lions a B- grade for their 20-19 win over the Panthers.
- Let’s check in on Ndamukong Suh...