What a comeback by the Detroit Lions. it took a complete team effort from start to finish, overcoming some very disappointing moments and underwhelming performances from key players to rally for the win. Here are your changes in the market for this week:
Stock up: Julian Okwara, EDGE
Julian Okwara opened this game by blowing contain on Justin Fields for a 28-yard gain. Luckily for him, it was only uphill from there. Okwara’s motor was on display the rest of the day, flying around the backfield to make Justin Fields dance around him. He would single-handedly end the Bears’ second drive with a sack — a hustle sack, after whiffing on the first attempt and getting back up — and then drawing a hold on the next play.
.@julian_okwara delivered the fourth-down sack #DETvsCHI | FOX pic.twitter.com/dYWz4aUhpY— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 13, 2022
As if that weren’t enough, Okwara would mimic that effort to close the game. On the final play for the Bears offense, Okwara whiffed on a sack, got up, and absolutely asserted his dominance on Fields to close out the game. He looked like a man on a mission and came up huge for the Lions defense across the entire game Sunday.
Stock up: Jamaal Williams, RB
It was far from a beautiful day rushing for the Detroit Lions offense. However, this stock up is for Williams’ performance in the passing game. From start to finish, this might have been Jamaal Williams’ most impressive performance in pass protection as a Lion (80.3 PFF pass blocking grade). That was a crucial piece of Jared Goff’s (mostly) strong day and the Lions being able to mount a comeback down 14 in the fourth.
Most importantly, it makes the Lions miss D’Andre Swift a whole lot less on Sundays. Swift can’t be trusted to stay on the field, and the Lions can’t find themselves looking handicapped every time Swift isn’t around. Williams is bridging that gap and quickly emerging as this team’s RB1.
Stock down: D’Andre Swift, RB
What is there left to say, man? If you can’t stay on the field, I don’t know what to tell you. Staying on the field while very injured might be the only worse alternative, as Swift was largely wasting handoffs on Sunday running east and west. I’ve said for weeks he needs to get comfortable running north and south, but it was so egregious that even the broadcast mentioned the same.
Swift clearly isn’t himself when he’s injured, and instead of playing this tango of “can he make the most of his [single digit] touches today,” he should’ve just been placed on IR. A sad way to go out, but at least he’s making the team’s decisions about his future easy.
Stock up: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE
Sunday was a very complete game for Hutchinson. He made his presence known in the run game at the goal line, in the passing game with sacks, and even in the passing game by way of coverage. That’s right, his best play of the game might not even show up on the stat sheet.
Freed Jefe #DETvsCHI | FOX pic.twitter.com/ggg7RgYeOQ— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 13, 2022
Watch Aidan Hutchinson on Jeff Okudah’s pick-six. He immediately recognizes the play and stays home on the tight end just enough for Fields to pull up and instead try to force a throw deep that wound up in Jeff Okudah’s hands. Okudah did all the work from there. Very complete game from Hutchinson, and he showed up when it mattered most for the Lions defense.
Stock up: Jeff Okudah, CB
Sunday’s highlight moment wasn’t a surprise to anyone who has watched Okudah this season. He has been stellar and, for the most part, a shutdown corner regardless of who offenses send his way. It was only a matter of time before a play like this happened. The fact that it does was such a hallmark moment for Okudah, too. His play this season has largely smudged the (completely unwarranted) label of “bust” that many had slapped on him, but this felt like the trademark moment that said he was back. Looking forward to a lot more of those, Jefe.
Stock down: Kerby Joseph, S
The Lions were lucky that the Bears offense is so dependent on the pass, because Kerby Joseph rebounded quite poorly from last week’s stellar performance. He often looked two steps behind where he needed to be on Sunday, but the play that everyone will remember had him way more steps behind than that.
Lions rookie safety Kerby Joseph was supposed to stay with Cole Kmet in coverage. He got drawn in and it was all over from there. Justin Fields hit him for the 50-yard score. pic.twitter.com/M94VZECVDY— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) November 13, 2022
There was initially discussion of whether it was the fault of C.J. Moore, who had just come in at the time for the injured DeShon Elliott. Watching the play via “touchdown dots,” however, the Lions give a single high look and it’s hard to imagine they’re disguising a two-high look that features the second safety just off the line of scrimmage.
Cole Kmet wide via Lions blown coverage, touchdown dots!@NextGenStats pic.twitter.com/yGkV9NYh6p— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 13, 2022
That wasn’t the only blown coverage Joseph had on Cole Kmet for a touchdown on the day, either. The cherry on top was Joseph’s holding call on the Bears’ final drive that almost made the Lions’ comeback take place in vain. Gonna be a long week of film for him, but hopefully he can get back on track for next week.
Stock down: Frank Ragnow, C
The interior offensive line starts and ends with Frank Ragnow. When Ragnow is at his best, his play can compensate for backups flanking both sides. When he’s at his worst, it doesn’t matter who you line up next to him, they will struggle. Unfortunately, Sunday was far from Ragnow’s best form. He struggled to generate space up the middle in the running game all day, and even at times found himself moving backwards. On the Lions’ opening drive of the third quarter, Ragnow got crossed up by Armon Watts for an ugly tackle for loss on third-and-1. Ragnow is often in the conversation among the league’s best centers, but he looked far from it Sunday.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR: Nobody doubted St. Brown’s capabilities, but he hasn’t quite looked 100 percent back since his injuries a few weeks ago. Sunday, the Lions put any remaining concerns to bed, getting St. Brown involved early and often. Props to Ben Johnson for getting the ball in his best player’s hands, and props to St. Brown for cutting up the Bears defense.
Stock up: Justin Jackson, RB: With D’Andre Swift proving ineffective with the ball in his hands, Jackson has seen an uptick in touches as he’s emerged as RB2 in recent weeks. He adds a nice element of shiftiness to the Lions’ run game and is very capable in the receiving game where Jamaal Williams might leave a bit to be desired.
Kalif Raymond, WR: Raymond was involved in an ugly play on some form of a reverse or jet sweep that led to a fumble, and it appeared to be his fault, looking unaware that he was supposed to receive the handoff. As one of the most seasoned players in this offense, that can’t happen, as it almost assuredly would’ve killed any hopes of a comeback if Raymond didn’t recover the fumble.
Derrick Barnes, LB: After a strong emergence last week, Barnes was largely quiet on Sunday. It’s not a huge surprise, as the Bears are a very agile team, whereas Barnes is more of a downhill closer than someone who plays sideline-to-sideline.