Week 7 is in the books, and the Detroit Lions dropped to 2-3-1 after the defense suffered a complete and total collapse against their divisional opponent, the Minnesota Vikings. It’s one of those games that wasn’t truly enjoyable, and even the bright spots were short lived and immediately replaced by poor performances that made you want to throw your new television into a nearby duck pond.
So after fishing that back out, I hunkered down once again to look at which Marvin Joneses were good and which everyone else’s put up a horror show of a game in our weekly stock report.
Stock Up: Marvin Jones Jr., WR
I feel a little bad putting Marvin Jones on here. We shouldn’t really praise a guy for picking on his kid, and dunking as badly on his grown children in the Vikings secondary is a seemingly yearly celebration. Still, four touchdowns for the second time in his career? That’s something special.
Jones dominates anyone wearing purple. I wonder if growing up, Jones has some negative memory that happened during one of those old McDonald’s commercials with Grimace, and he just hasn’t been able to shake it. Whatever it is, he whooped the Vikings and the fact this ended up a loss really sucks.
Stock Down: The entire secondary
Darius Slay was having a rough game before his hamstring injury sidelined him again. Rashaan Melvin looked like vintage Rashaan Melvin, which means, of course, that he could have donned his Raiders uni from last year, and this is the type of performance that would have looked right up his alley. Justin Coleman put up his worst game of the season. Tracy Walker didn’t have a great day and got hurt at one point. Quandre Diggs played as careless in run defense as I’ve ever seen him play.
This unit was supposed to be a strength and there wasn’t a one of them that looked like they belonged against the mighty Kirk “Scared of anything resembling pressure” Cousins. I get that pressure helps, but this secondary sucked against a QB known for making mistakes and they couldn’t force anything.
Stock Up: Kevin Strong, DT
According to PFF grades, Kevin Strong was Detroit's best defensive player, by a mile.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 21, 2019
Not everybody on the defense sucked. I mean, granted, Strong is the only defender I thought was worth a damn the entire game. That’s not hyperbole, either, I slogged through all 60 minutes of this game and the only Lions defender I thought looked like he was even trying to stop the Vikings on every single play was the rookie undrafted free agent from the University of Texas: San Antonio. It didn’t show up on the stat sheet, but he was balling.
Stock Down: Every linebacker
Jarrad Davis at his most Jarrad Davisy, I was surprised to see that he wasn’t credited with a single missed tackle. Jahlani Tavai wasn’t either, but only because it wasn’t a single missed tackle but three of them. This was easily Tavai’s worst game as a pro so far, he looked dreadful. Christian Jones, also looked bad. Not a one of those guys looked like they knew which gap they were supposed to cover or who they were supposed to be covering or how to tackle anybody. The collective experience of several individuals evaporated at the thought of defending their end zones against anyone wearing purple or gold.
Stock Up: The other receivers
Marvin Hall only played six snaps in the passing game and managed one of the best plays of the game for either team. His role isn’t a large one, but that deep threat receiver role that the Lions have been unable to muster from a myriad of receivers over the years seems to have finally found a poster boy. Danny Amendola was fighting for yards throughout the game, proving his worth with another 100 yard showing. Kenny Golladay surprisingly put up the worst showing of the bunch, but as a whole this was a strong unit.
Stock Down: The rest of the defensive line
While Kevin Strong was working his backside off, I struggled to find a reason any of the other guys deserved snaps aside from the fact SOMEBODY has to take those snaps. Damon Harrison Sr. is playing the worst football of his career, and we’re well past it just being him knocking off the rust. A’Shawn Robinson, who has played well this season, decided to take the game off, including the 50 snaps he was on the field. John Atkins was bad. Romeo Okwara was bad. Devon Kennard also stunk up the field. I feel like I’m piling it on, but I have to tell you, this was the worst defensive showing I’ve seen in some time, and this group was easily the worst of the bunch as a whole.
Danny Amendola, WR: As mentioned, he had a good day.
T.J. Hockenson, TE: Hockenson needs to get more action, and I think he’s starting to find ways to do that. Three catches isn’t going to cut it, but it’s a start to getting more involved.
J.D. McKissic, RB: McKissic is the gimmick player the Lions have always wanted. A shame you can’t use those plays too often or they’ll stop working.
Matthew Stafford, QB: Stafford put on a show and it’s a shame it was in a loss. If only he could play like he does at QB on defense.
Kenny Wiggins, LRG: You know what? As stupid as the whole rotation thing is, Wiggins didn’t even play that bad in this one. Not so much good as not bad.
Rick Wagner, RT: Wagner didn’t play well, but he didn’t play terrible and that’s an improvement from his recent play.
Ty Johnson, RB: Johnson has continued to look like a sixth-round rookie. He’s struggling mightily with his reads and vision. He needs to step up in the worst way.
Kenny Golladay, WR: As mentioned, he had a rough day and just couldn’t get open against anyone.
Kerryon Johnson, RB: Johnson was one of PFF’s highest-rated players on the day, but his production was poor and his injury looks to be another lasting one.
Jesse James, TE: James hasn’t been able to get involved in the offense in any meaningful way even when Hockenson has struggled.
Graham Glasgow, RG: Last time I’m going to mention that the whole rotating the guards thing is absolutely bunk, because by now they’re only doing it because it’s “working,” a bad sign even when you’re playing well.
Joe Dahl, LG: Same as with Glasgow, only not playing at as high of a level. I’m beginning to think maybe Dahl really is just a backup who’s forced to start.
Frank Ragnow, OC: Ragnow has been playing at a high level, so a game like this one really stands out in a bad way.
Taylor Decker, LT: Decker faced another top-tier pass rusher and once again folded like a lawn chair in late October.
Will Harris, SS: Harris has shown some positive flashes, but he didn’t even flash in this one.
Tracy Walker, FS: Walker has played well this year, but not in this one. It was possibly his worst game.
Matt Patricia, Head Coach: Stock Down
The Lions treated Kirk Cousins like he was as mobile as Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. They treated him like they didn’t need to pressure him to keep him guessing. That’s a purely philosophical choice, and when it wasn’t working they doubled and tripled down. As head coach, his team never gave up on him, but that isn’t because he gave them any reason not to. He never adjusted to anything, not once.
Darrell Bevell, Offensive Coordinator: Stock Up
I’m not sure what else you can expect in terms of play design and execution. The run game could have been a lot better, but when your starter goes down and you’re forced to follow a defense that allows 42 points, there’s only so much you can do.
Paul Pasqualoni, Defensive Water Carrier: Stock Down.
Pasqualoni is only really out there to look creepy and agree with whatever Matt Patricia says, but you’d figure in a showing like this one he would... I don’t know... do something.
John Bonamego, Special Teams: Stock Up
Special teams didn’t suck. As bad as the rest of the team was, at least this group wasn’t terrible. There wasn’t much work, but they did their jobs when they were asked to.