The Detroit Lions’ 31-26 victory over the New York Giants featured some impressive individual performances from Detroit’s side. While we already know the monster day Kenny Golladay and Matthew Stafford had, there are some players that you may not have realized were dominant against the Giants.
Thankfully, PFF provided their top-graded players from the game on both sides of the ball. So let’s take a closer look at the best performances from the Lions in Week 8.
It was Danny Amendola who earned the team’s highest grade on offense this week, and that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Amendola caught all eight of his targets for 95 yards. However, his impact in the game went beyond his route running and catching skills. He was also a very valuable commodity in the run game.
Amendola was Detroit's highest-graded run blocker at 78.3 Nick Bawden was the next closest at 63.6. https://t.co/Gib9Uq1zx6— Benjamin Raven (@BenjaminSRaven) October 29, 2019
Matthew Stafford’s 86.0 grade from PFF was among the best of the Week. Russell Wilson led the way with an 88.4 grade, so that gives you an idea of just how special of a performance Stafford put on against the Giants, completing all 12 of his second-half passes for a near-perfect passer rating.
Unfortunately, after Amendola, Stafford and Golladay, there was a huge drop off in score. Taylor Decker had an acceptable day, but when your fifth-highest player was graded in the 50s, you know it wasn’t a great day for the offense. That speaks to how much the team was struggling in the run game and on first and second down. Matthew Stafford, and Stafford alone, kept this offense afloat this week.
You wouldn’t know if from the final score, but this was a big bounceback week for the Lions defense after getting trashed by the Vikings in Week 7.
Particularly promising was the play of Detroit’s defensive line. Trey Flower notched seven hurries on his way to an 89.6 overall grade. He just barely missed out on PFF’s Week 8 Team of the Week, as Brandon Graham (92.6) and Danielle Hunter (91.1) edged him in grade.
But even more promising is that Da’Shawn Hand proved to be worth the wait. After missing the final three games last year and the first seven this year, Hand picked up right where he left off in his impressive rookie season. Hand was dominant as a run defender, which likely contributed to Detroit’s resurgence in that matchup, holding Saquon Barkley to just 64 yards on 19 carries (3.4 YPC). It’s probably too early to declare Detroit’s run defense “fixed” with Hand back, but we’ll know a lot more after this week’s game against another talented rushing attack in rookie Josh Jacobs and the Oakland Raiders.
Romeo Okwara and Devon Kennard rounded out the impressive day from Detroit’s defensive front, while veteran Tavon Wilson did a solid job in Quandre Diggs’ absence—surprisingly excelling most in coverage.