The Detroit Lions were an absolute mess on Sunday in their 44-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. While the postgame report card tries to highlight some positive performances every week, it’s going to be tough to do that when the entire team comes out so thoroughly flat.
As you may expect, we’re handing out a lot of Fs this week, because it’s hard to watch that game and point to really anything truly positive. So without further ado, here’s the Lions’ Week 8 report card. Please return this with your parents’ signature.
Jared Goff offers no spark to this offense. He still refuses to push the ball downfield. He has poor pocket management and takes bad sacks. Oh, and ANOTHER throw out of bounds on a fourth down. Are you kidding me?
The man had zero help in this game, but he’s doing nothing to help this team, either.
Running backs: F
D’Andre Swift fumbled, giving the Eagles an extra six points they didn’t need, and he also lined up incorrectly on one of the Lions’ biggest plays of the day, causing an illegal formation penalty to erase it from the score sheet.
Jermar Jefferson picked up a bunch of garbage time yards and his first NFL touchdown, but when the game was still in hand, Swift’s 2.3 yards per carry wasn’t doing this offense any favors. On the few plays he did have rushing lanes, he was far too hesitant to run through them. In short, the Lions missed Jamaal Williams.
Tight ends: B
T.J. Hockenson was the only thing that was working on Sunday. He had seven catches for 59 in the first half alone, and added a couple garbage time catches, as well. Catching 10 of 11 targets is an impressive performance from Hockenson, even if he averaged just 8.9 yards per catch.
Wide receiver: F
Amon-Ra St. Brown showed some life in this game, pulling in three catches for 46 yards—he also had the 35-yard play negated by Swift’s mistake—but Detroit’s rotation of outside receivers is bearing absolutely no fruit. KhaDarel Hodge had a drop and no catches, and Trinity Benson’s second chance in the lineup resulted in zero targets. Kalif Raymond and Tom Kennedy pitched in zero catches on two targets.
Offensive line: F
The Lions have allowed pressures on 30.3% of their dropbacks this season, via @TruMediaSports. Only the Colts (31.5%) have a higher number.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) November 1, 2021
Pressures on 15 of 41 dropbacks (36.6%) Sunday vs. the Eagles.
Zero rushing lanes all day, as Detroit’s longest rush was for 8 yards. Goff was under constant pressure, especially off the right side. Goff was sacked five times and the Eagles registered 12 QB hits.
Defensive line: F
Detroit allowed over 236 yards rushing and 5.1 yards per carry—against an Eagles rushing attack that was missing its No. 1 back. They were absolutely dominated up the middle of the defense, and when the Eagles ran a bunch of misdirection early in the game, Detroit was exposed on the edges.
Nick Williams and Michael Brockers combined for a PFF grade of 71.6.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) November 1, 2021
When your veteran leaders are struggling this hard, the young guns have no chance.
Detroit also sent ineffective blitzes all day, while the Lions did not stay disciplined in their rushing lanes, allowing Jalen Hurts to scramble for 71 yards on his own.
Zero quarterback hits. Zero sacks.
Sideline-to-sideline pursuit just wasn’t there at the second level. Alex Anzalone fell back to reality after last week’s performance. Derrick Barnes did lead the Lions with tackles, but far too many of those came after the game had already been decided.
To be fair, the Lions secondary was barely tested in this one, with the Eagles only attempting 16 passes in the entire game. But Detroit’s secondary didn’t get their hand on a single pass, and only Tracy Walker seemed capable of making a play in the running game.
Special teams: C
Jack Fox did his thing, but Austin Seibert missed his one kick attempt when the game was still in hand. Additionally, the Lions committed a penalty on an Eagles field goal attempt, extending their drive unnecessarily.
They did get a couple nice kick returns from Godwin Igwebuike, though.
This is the first game the Lions undoubtedly got outcoached, and to Dan Campbell’s credit (I guess), he admitted it. They did not seem prepared for the Eagles offense throwing misdirection their way, and Detroit’s offense has found zero answers to their problems after two months of failure. They threw nothing interesting or creative at an Eagles defense that had their coordinator under fire, and when they did run anything resembling misdirection, the Eagles were all over it.
At the end of the half, head coach Dan Campbell took an inexplicable chance on fourth-and-1 with only 13 seconds left to try and get a touchdown from 22 yards away. The chances of scoring a touchdown in that little time from that far away is already miniscule—especially with this offense—so it made little sense to me to not at least tally at field goal to go into the locker room with three points. I understand three points wouldn’t have made much of a difference in the final score, but 17-3 is not a death sentence after two quarters.
Finally, the Lions just didn’t look like a smart team out there. Too many men penalties, and an illegal formation call that erased a big play. As Campbell said, that’s Day 1 stuff. If Detroit is making those kind of errors, they simply aren’t being taught well enough.