The Detroit Lions put on a shocking performance in Week 3, and there was no shortage of players that earned high praise against the New England Patriots. Pro Football Focus was nice enough to give us Detroit’s top performers on offense and on defense per their grading system. Let’s break it down:
The top graded players on the Detroit Lions offense last night. pic.twitter.com/q8jxE9VX1B— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 24, 2018
Frank Ragnow, Graham Glasgow and Taylor Decker had themselves a day against the New England Patriots, and we finally, FINALLY, got a look at what this offense could look like with a competent front five. Ragnow’s day was particularly impressive considering his struggles through the first two games of his career. His play was so good that he made PFF’s “Week 3 Team of the Week.”
“He didn’t allow a single sack, hit or hurry, giving him a 100.0 pass-blocking efficiency rating, and was impressive in the run game too,” PFF’s Gordon McGuinness wrote.
As expected, Kerryon Johnson was also a top performer after a fantastic showing on Sunday night, and Matthew Stafford rounded out the top five with an oddly low rating considering how much better he looked compared to other weeks.
Top Graded Week 3 Lions Defensive Players (min 10 snaps):— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) September 25, 2018
1. CB - Darius Slay, 81.9
2. ED - Romeo Okwara, 80.9
3. LB - Jalen Reeves-Maybin, 73.9
4. DI - A'Shawn Robinson, 71.8
5. CB - Jamal Agnew, 68.9
A lot of you rightfully called me out for my D grade I gave the Lions’ defensive line performance against the Patriots. The Lions’ pass rush was pretty bad on Sunday, but Detroit’s line came up big in run stops, especially during key third-and-short plays. For the second-straight week, A’Shawn Robinson cracked the Lions’ top-five defensive PFF grades after being a healthy scratch in Week 1.
But perhaps the biggest untold story here is that of defensive end Romeo Okwara. The Lions added Okwara just a few days before their season opener against the Jets. Fans were mad that the Lions not only added Okwara—a man with four career starts and 1.0 sacks—but that they let Anthony Zettel go.
On a day in which Detroit again surprised (and angered) many by benching Kerry Hyder, Okwara played a jaw-dropping 83 percent of defensive snaps against the Patriots and came out as one of the best defensive players on the team, by PFF’s grades. That’s insanely impressive from a guy that has been with the team for just over two weeks.