The Detroit Lions had some gutsy performances against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday that led them to a big road upset and an impressive 2-0-1 start. There were some obvious stars to the game—Marvin Jones Jr. and Jamal Agnew come to mind—but things aren’t always as they seem after just one viewing of the game.
So let’s pull our friends at PFF into the conversation, and see which Lions players had under-the-radar performances that may have been overlooked.
Here the five Lions players who earned the highest grades on each side of the ball.
Once again, it was a pretty darn good performance from the offense on Sunday, while the defense lagged quite far behind.
It should come as no surprise that Marvin Jones Jr. leads the way after a big six-catch, 101-yard performance against the Eagles. Jones’ impressive day landed him on PFF’s Team of the Week, where they note that Matthew Stafford had a passer rating of 141.4 when targeting Jones.
Another trend that is starting to emerge with these grades is the promise of the Lions’ interior offensive line. Last week, Graham Glasgow, Frank Ragnow and Joe Dahl all made the top five list. This week, it was Dahl and Kenny Wiggins. For Wiggins, it’s a bit of a small sample size, seeing as he is only playing a rotational role and participated in just 20 snaps. However, for Dahl, this is extremely promising, especially considering the Eagles’ tough interior defensive line. This offseason, the Lions extended Dahl on a two-year deal for cap hits under $2 million for the next three years. That’s looking like a heck of a bargain.
As alluded to above, it wasn’t as good of a day for the Lions defense. No one managed a grade above 80 and only two eclipsed 70.
It should come as little surprise that three members of the Lions secondary found their way onto this list, as Detroit really shut the door defensively late in the game, largely due to tight coverage from the Lions’ defensive backs. Justin Coleman came away from the game with a career-high three passes defended, while Rashaan Melvin built upon a very strong start to the season.
Despite what appeared to be a lack of pass rush on Sunday, both edge defenders Romeo Okwara and Trey Flowers cracked the top five. PFF actually credited Flowers with six pressures against the Eagles, but he was dinged for three missed tackles. Okwara was especially stout in run defense, earning himself the fourth-highest run defense grade among edge defenders with an 81.8.