Week-by-week, we like to take a look at the Detroit Lions players that earn the highest Pro Football Focus grade in each game. Every week, we see guys like Da’Shawn Hand or Damon Harrison dominate the rest of the team.
Now, thanks to the Detroit PFF Twitter account, we can see how the players stack up after three months of work. Here’s a look at the highest graded players for the entire season through Week 12. For the offense:
Here are the @Lions highest graded players on offense through Week 12:— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) November 25, 2018
1. WR Kenny Golladay (@kgxix) - 82.0
2. HB Kerryon Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) - 80.8
3. QB Matthew Stafford - 76.1
4. T Rick Wagner - 72.9
5. G T. J. Lang (@TJLang70) - 72.0#OnePride
If there’s one positive thing to take from this season, it’s that the Lions’ two young playmakers on offense are dominating this early in their respective careers. Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson may be centerpieces of this offense going forward, especially with Golden Tate gone and Marvin Jones Jr. with only two years remaining on his contract.
It may surprise some to see Matthew Stafford with a grade this high—“above average” per PFF’s scale, but 16th overall.
Here’s what it looks like on defense:
Here are the @Lions highest graded players on defense through Week 12:— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) November 26, 2018
1. DI Damon Harrison (@snacks) - 91.3
2. DI A'Shawn Robinson (@AshawnRobinson) - 89.9
3. DI D'Shawn Hand (@TheHand54) - 88.0
4. S Quandre Diggs - 69.5
5. CB Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) - 68.9#OnePride
Well, the interior of the defensive line appears to be set. Literally the only three Lions defenders that have a grade above “average” are Detroit’s three interior defenders: Damon Harrison Sr., A’Shawn Robinson and Da’Shawn Hand.
Obviously the Lions went through a huge defensive overhaul this year, both in terms of personnel and scheme, but I’m not sure many expected things to be this bad, especially in the secondary.
- The Lions obviously haven’t made any indication whether they’ll retain offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter or not, but Chris Burke of The Athletic already has a list of possible offensive coordinator candidates, including recently fired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury (subscription required).
- The ever-positive Marvin Jones Jr. seems to have come to terms with his season-ending injury. Saying via Instagram, “I’m good good & we look nothin but forward over here.”
- The Los Angeles Rams have officially designated cornerback Aqib Talib to return from injured reserved, increasing the likelihood that he plays this week against the Detroit Lions—just in time to face a Marvin Jones-less Lions offense.
- The idea of trading Matthew Stafford is starting to grow on national NFL analysts. In his Football Morning in America piece, NBC Sports’ Peter King suggested the Lions trade Stafford to the Jaguars this offseason for a first and fourth-round pick. He doesn’t offer much of any rationale for his opinion, mentioning it only briefly in his “10 Things I Think I Think” section. He either doesn’t know or willfully ignores Stafford’s contract situation.