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Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys Week 11 stock report

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The Detroit Lions were unable to slow down the league’s top offense enough to pull out a win, but that doesn’t mean the whole team played poorly.

Dallas Cowboys v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions finished their Week 11 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys by falling to 3-6-1, putting even the die-hard projections of the team making some sort of late season playoff push firmly to bed. As we try to do every week, we’re going to take a look at who played well against Dallas and who struggled to pull their weight. The constant tug and pull for each player is going to be highlighted even more now that playoffs aren’t a consideration, so let’s not mince words and start tearing into the meat of this game.

Stock Up: Jeff Driskel, QB

The Detroit Lions haven’t had a developmental quarterback on their roster since Matthew Stafford was drafted in 2009. Through three different head coaches, the team prioritized someone who could provide game day benefit to Stafford—veterans or highly intelligent college QBs with multiple schemes in their experience—over someone that could develop one day into a starting caliber player. That changed in 2019 and the Lions took several stabs before settling on Jeff Driskel. After throwing a bunch of completions but seemingly no actually accurate passes coming off the bench cold last week, Driskel showed good poise and command of the offense in his second week. There were still struggles, we’re talking about a backup quality player in his second week here, but his throws were much more accurately and he made far better decisions throughout the game in his second outing. I was asked today if the Lions should consider extending Jeff Driskel, and that answer for me is yes.

Stock Down: Kenny Golladay, WR

Coming into the game, Kenny Golladay led the NFL in receiving touchdowns. The one catch he did make in this game was a clutch one to move the ball downfield, even drawing an additional penalty on top of that, but Golladay was completely shut down otherwise. He was targeted four other times and didn’t manage a catch. Creating separation isn’t an issue if you can out-muscle your opponent for the ball, but it certainly is a problem when you can’t.

Stock Up: Graham Glasgow, RG/C

While trying to pay attention to the tackles (more on that later), I was pleased with the effort put forth by Graham Glasgow despite the Cowboys sending extra defenders quite often. Glasgow and Frank Ragnow put up a valiant effort for the most part, and Graham didn’t miss a beat when the team lost Ragnow and he was forced to slide into the center position once more. It’s a pain that Glasgow hasn’t been extended yet, and games like this one make it even more worrisome as a fan to see that deal still looming.

Stock Down: Taylor Decker, LT

Taylor Decker has been the Lions highest graded offensive lineman for the past two weeks, so you’ll forgive me for having higher expectations. Not only was Decker not up to the example he’s put forward the previous games, he was quite bad in this one. Penalties continue to be an issue, but an inability to deal with quicker rushers and find a way to protect your quarterback and rushers is concerning when you’ve got contract considerations coming up.

Stock Up: Jarrad Davis, LB

I’m cheating a bit here as I didn’t give Davis nearly enough credit for his play last week. I felt that despite the tackles he struggled against Chicago, but that really wasn’t the case. Against the Cowboys, Davis made his presence felt right away as he forced and then recovered a fumble to set up the team’s first touchdown of the game. Davis had struggles, particularly in coverage, throughout the game and he missed a key tackle on a blitz later in the game, but since he was dogged so badly last week despite playing well and made a play that led to a 7-14 point swing in the outcome (Lions scored, haven’t been able to stop the Cowboys), he deserves a mention positively.

Stock Down: Darius Slay/Rashaan Melvin, CB

Darius Slay started out the game hot, but it started to wear on as the game got further along. Rashaan Melvin started the season out hot, but has been regressing every week since the first quarter of the season concluded. This duo, along with the rest of the secondary, allowed two receivers to go over 115+ yards and looked well out of place on most plays. They played off their receivers to the point of simply allowing catches, and that’s only okay when it’s not for first downs seemingly every time.

Quick Hits

Stock Up

Bo Scarbrough, RB: Scarbrough’s talent was never in question and he made it throughout he game with a touhdown to his credit. If he can stay healthy (a massive if), he should get touches again next week.

J.D. McKissic, RB: McKissic always seems to be falling down, but in this one he was always falling down with the ball in his hands towards the sticks, so I’ll take it.

Marvin Jones Jr., WR: Jones has a knack for getting touchdowns and that got some action this week. Jones caught four of five passes for two touchdowns.

Christian Jones, LB: I’m nothing if not fair. I only saw Christian Jones make one major mistake in this game, and that’s a serious improvement from most weeks.

John Atkins, NT: Atkins doesn’t do much most days, but he smoked Travis Frederick badly on one play in this one. He missed the tackle on Prescott, though, but it was an admirable try.

Damon Harrison Sr., NT: The Lions kept the Cowboys rushing attack stifled all day, holding Ezekiel Elliott to only 2.8 yards per carry on the day, and Snacks was a big part of that.

Trey Flowers, DE: Flowers still looking good.

Devon Kennard, Jack: Kennard followed up a good week with a good week. Needs to keep stringing those together.

Stock Down

Ty Johnson, RB: Back from injury, the Lions were content to leave Johnson with almost no touches. He didn’t make use of the few he got, either.

Marvin Hall, WR: Hall had his signature one catch a game, but this one was only for 39 yards instead of his expected 40+.

T.J. Hockenson, TE: Hockenson was only targeted twice and caught one of those for six yards. For such a highly drafted player, that’s not great, even against a strong LB unit.

Jesse James, TE: Just a reminder that he’s still on the roster and that the Lions paid him a boatload of cash to catch footballs and block well. He’s done neither.

Tyrell Crosby, RT: There was a time that some thought of Crosby as an eventual successor at RT. Games like this make me wonder if he’ll even be a swing tackle in the future.

Joe Dahl, LG: Dahl played possibly his worst game against the Cowboys and it seems like ages ago (because it was) that he was playing well enough to consider his contract a steal.

Tracy Walker, FS: Walker missed a tackle on one touchdown, which sucks, but he had to come all the way across the field to even make the attempt (and shouldn’t have had to), so I feel he may grade out better than the stats show this game went for them. Still, underwhelmed.

Will Harris, SS: Harris has played admirably the past few weeks, but I saw him on the receiving end of several poor plays in this one.

Mike Ford, CB: Ford has had some highs and lows, but this was a game full of the latter.

Coaches

Matt Patricia, Head Coach: Stock Down

The Lions took an early lead but weren’t able to hold it. They played up to their opponent for the full 60 minutes but were never able to play above them, which has been the true crux of Matt Patricia’s time in Detroit so far. There are things that this team is doing right, things that make you think they’re moving in the right direction, and playing this close with a backup quarterback against an offensive powerhouse like the Cowboys is one of those things. Being unable to close out tight games like this every week and having the largest margin of loss on the season (Still only one possession) is what give you pause.

Darrell Bevell, Offensive Coordinator: Stock Down

Bevell once again came out flat after two possessions, a seemingly weekly ritual wherein he’s asked to work outside of a script against a defense that is adjusting and he proves unable to do so. If not for excellent field position from a turnover and strong return, the margin of loss in this game is far more significant as he was unable to coordinate an effective offense for much of the game.

Paul Pasqualoni, Defensive Coordinator: Stock Flatlined

He really can’t get much worse, so it seems redundant to keep talking about it. Paul Pasqualoni might not be the worst defensive coordinator in the league, but that’s only because I’m not going to bother coming up for a statistical argument proving something as obvious as him being the worst.

John Bonamego, ST Coordinator: Stock Up

Bonamego’s unit has been a bright spot since the first quarter of the season ended and that continues to be the case. His coverage units are among the best in the NFL and I don’t see anything from this game that would slow that.