Plenty of attention has rightfully been given to the Detroit Lions’ defensive collapse on Sunday that allowed the Washington Football Team back in the game, but the Lions also made big positive strides offensively. Against a decent Washington defense, the Lions were able to put up 30 points and average an impressive 6.8 yards per play.
They were successful on that side of the ball because they finally embraced what I’m calling Swiftball. D’Andre Swift made his first NFL start on Sunday, and it not only showcased his talents, but it helped make his quarterback look a lot better after some shaky performances. By the time Week 10 was over, both Swift and Matthew Stafford proved to be two of the most valuable weapons across the NFL that Sunday.
Per Football Outsiders’ DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) metric, both Swift and Stafford were the second-most valuable players at their respective positions in Week 10. Stafford, who had the best passer rating of any quarterback last week, was especially proficient throwing to Swift and the Lions’ other running backs.
“Stafford led the NFL in DYAR on passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, completing nine of 10 such throws for 69 yards,” Football Outsiders’ Vincent Verhei wrote. “Only four of those throws went to running backs, but he was also best on passes to that position: he completed all six of his passes to Adrian Peterson and D’Andre Swift for 77 yards and a touchdown.”
As for Swift, he trailed only Colts running back Nyheim Hines as the most valuable runner of the week. Here’s what Verhei wrote about Swift’s performance against Washington.
Swift was stuffed four times, but he ran for five first downs, including gains of 11, 16, and 17 yards. Each of his receptions counted as a successful play and three went for first downs, including a 26-yard gain on second-and-20 and a 15-yard touchdown on third-and-6.
This is also a good reminder to go out and vote for Swift for Rookie of the Week.
- Like every other week, a lot was made of how much Detroit decided to play zone vs. man coverage against Washington. Per ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, the Lions played 70 percent zone in the first half, and just 37 percent zone in the second half. Some folks then criticized defensive coordinator Cory Undlin for saying he wish they would’ve played more man coverage in the second half. Well, the stats show he may actually have a point:
Per @SportsInfo_SIS, Detroit in man coverage vs. WAS: 11 of 22 for 142 yards, 0TD, 0INT.— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) November 18, 2020
Detroit in zone coverage vs. WAS: 24 of 29 for 234 yards, 0TD, 0INT.
So... he has a point, to a point. https://t.co/tolyjkUbZy
- Pretty cool article from Larry Lage of AP on Oday Aboushi and his quest to speak out on the struggles Palestinians are going through.
- Good guy, Adrian Peterson:
- Bill Dow of the Detroit Free Press has a great “Where are they now?” feature on former Lions offensive lineman Mike Utley, who tragically saw his Lions career end with an injury that left him paralyzed. (subscription required)
- Golden Tate thinks Matthew Stafford will be just fine this week:
And I can picture Stafford saying “ I’ll be fine...... I got 9 other fingers”— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) November 18, 2020
- Neat article from Chris Burke of The Athletic on NFL players attending their first NFL games ever... as players. (subscription required)
- Our buddy Arif Hasan listed the top NFL performers of Week 10 and it features five different Lions players. (subscription required)