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Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Ravens Week 3 stock report: Stellar play from the edges

Taking stock of the Lions roster after their last-second loss on Sunday.

NFL: SEP 26 Ravens at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This one stung a little more than the previous two.

On an NFL-record, 66-yard field goal from Baltimore Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker, the Detroit Lions suffered their third loss in as many games to start the 2021 season.

But it wasn’t for a lack of effort—and we know what happens to players under this regime when they aren’t giving it their all.

Let’s check the ticker to see which Lions players are trending up—or down—after their Week 3 matchup with the Ravens.

Stock Up: D’Andre Swift, RB

He may have been 0-for-1 on passing attempts, but Swift was Detroit’s best offensive player this afternoon. If only the Lions' offense found a way to keep themselves in football games so they could continue running the football, but Swift can get it done in so many ways.

In addition to his 14 carries for 47 yards and his first rushing touchdown of the season, Swift hauled in all seven of his targets for 60 yards. Dan Campbell talked about how the team needed to do more to incorporate Swift into the passing game, and they followed through on it, but maybe this offense needs even more Swift.

Stock Down: Special teams

Nearly every aspect of special teams was bad.

Jack Fox had a punt of 25 yards. Jerry Jacobs ran out of bounds in punt coverage without being forced out and cost the Lions a turnover in plus-territory. There was another penalty on punt coverage for an illegal formation.

Ryan Santoso connected on all of his kicks—they were all from 35 yards and in—so... hooray?

Stock Up: Amani Oruwariye, CB

An interception at a crucial juncture in the game? Good job, Amani!

Oruwariye easily had his best game of the season so far on Sunday. Sure, some of it had to do with the Ravens and Lamar Jackson picking on the other cornerbacks in this depleted secondary, but props to Oruwariye for holding things down on his side. In coverage, Oruwariye gave up just two catches to Sammy Watkins for just 14 yards.

Stock Down: Jared Goff, QB

The offensive line was having plenty of exotic fronts and pressures being shown and thrown their way, but one player who couldn’t take—let alone handle—the heat, was Jared Goff.

For as much fun as Lions fans are having with Justin Fields' performance last weekend against the Cleveland Browns, Goff had -2 net passing yards deep into this game before he was bailed out by Swift’s usefulness in the short-passing game.

Goff continues to be ineffective for sizable portions of the game and pretty much incapable of stretching this offense vertically—there were more than a few opportunities Anthony Lynn drew up and Goff missed because he was locked in on his first read or decided to check it down.

Quick Hits

Stock Up

Jamaal Williams, RB: Detroit’s offense continues to go as far as the running backs take them. Williams had 67 yards on 14 touches, but got home for an all-important touchdown to make this a game in the end.

AJ Parker, CB: The undrafted rookie continues to impress as this defense’s nickel cornerback not only in coverage, but as a run defender, too—Parker had a tackle at the line of scrimmage on third-and-3 to snuff out a Baltimore drive.

Romeo Okwara, EDGE: Okwara is the type of player Dan Campbell loves: he’s high energy and bringing it on every play. One play that stood out was a stop he recorded against Lamar Jackson to force a Baltimore punt to start the second quarter, but tack on six more pressures for Romeo this season—and one sack for good box score posture.

Austin Bryant, EDGE: It’s awesome to see Bryant on the field, and it’s even better to see him picking up a sack to force Baltimore into a second-and-distance—we won’t mention how that drive ended.

Charles Harris, EDGE: Speaking of pressure, Harris made the most of his game-high 45 snaps on Sunday. Harris recorded six pressures including his second sack of the season.

Julian Okwara, EDGE: And last but not least, the poster child for efficiency at the edge position. Julian played just 10 snaps on Sunday, nine as a pass rusher, but recorded four total pressures including a QB hit. More Okwara brothers, please.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB: For a guy who primarily plays special teams, he made a few plays on Sunday playing defense. Encouraging to see for a team scraping the bottom of the barrel on their linebacker depth.

Alex Anzalone, LB: Rewind things to a week ago and Anzalone was catching some serious heat for his play against Green Bay on Monday night. On Sunday, he was very active as a run defender and held up respectably in coverage, especially considering he had Mark Andrews lining up opposite of him—just two receptions allowed for 10 yards.

Stock Down

Darren Fells, TE: After making a nice catch for a first down on the opening series, Fells took a killer penalty on fourth-and-1 to stall out a drive. As the second tight end, it’s best to remain unnoticed.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR: St. Brown was held to just one reception for 2 yards and has been looking less and less like a fixture of this offense’s passing attack.

Levi Onwuzurike, IDL: Last week he was in the stock down because he played just 10 snaps, and I understand he was coming back from an injury, but his workload increased to... 14 snaps? And nothing of note on the stat sheet? Expectations were higher for this second-round pick. Speaking of which...

Alim McNeill, NT: Just 13 snaps for McNeill, and that could have been due to a situational matchup against Baltimore and Lamar Jackson, but like Onwuzurike, nothing about his play stood out.

Derrick Barnes, LB: Growing pains were inevitable for the fourth-round rookie, but throwing him in there against a team like Baltimore—and a player like Mark Andrews—would have been a tough ask for any player.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai, RG: You probably won’t find a player on this roster who will have more ups and downs this season than Vaitai from week to week. Last week, Vaitai showed huge improvements after giving up five pressures against San Francisco. Against Baltimore? The worst run-blocking grade in the league this week by a guard according to PFF—and the fourth-worst graded guard overall in the NFL.

Jonah Jackson, LG: An important cog in the offensive line up front, Jackson gave up two pressures and committed two penalties—a hold and unsportsmanlike conduct after the play—to snakebite a drive where Detroit was already backed up to their own goal line.

Trinity Benson, WR: One target for no catches on 14 snaps—and the lowest-graded receiver on the afternoon per PFF. Not exactly the kind of production you’d expect from a receiver who cost the team a fifth-round pick and has plenty of opportunities to get on the field.

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