In the aftermath of a no-good, blowout loss suffered at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, the Detroit Lions are left to pick up the pieces. The game wasn’t pretty, so neither are the numbers, but let’s see if we can glean something from the disaster that was on Sunday.
As we’ll do every week throughout the season for this Lions team, we’ll comb through some of the advanced data courtesy of PFF that can help us better understand the football the Lions have played thus far—and what to look forward to in the coming weeks. Let’s take a closer look at the Lions by the numbers after their loss to the Ravens in Week 7.
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2 of 12, 43 yards
To be clear, this loss shouldn’t be pinned on any particular player—Dan Campbell said as much on Monday when he took the brunt of the responsibility for his role in this loss, per usual.
With that said, this was a rough afternoon for Jared Goff. In what was his worst performance of the season, Goff struggled in a phase of the game he had been otherwise very good through the first six games: downfield passing. In those six games, he was completing 70.6 percent of his passes 20+ yards downfield (12 of 16), and 65 percent of passes between 10-19 yards downfield (26 of 40). Against Baltimore, Goff was 0 of 3 on 20+ yard passes, and 2 of 9 on those 10-19 yard medium throws for a total of 43 yards.
Goff was at his most inaccurate downfield on Sunday. Some of it was the pressure—19 pressures on his 58 dropbacks—some of it was the coverage scheme that made throws over the middle of the field more difficult, and some of it was the Lions offense as a whole unable to create any sustained drives early on. What’s clear from Week 7 is this: Detroit will miss David Montgomery for as much time as he misses.
2 missed tackles
In what is starting to become a bit of a concerning trend with Aidan Hutchinson’s game, the missed tackles are piling up. A couple of times against the Ravens, Lamar Jackson was able to evade Hutchinson’s grasp, and while they could have been momentum-shifting plays for a defense that desperately needed them, it’s hard to fault Hutchinson’s two missed tackles against a player like Jackson.
But that brings Hutchinson’s missed tackle total this season to six over 401 snaps, while he missed just five tackles across 953 snaps last season. His missed tackle rate is up to 28.6 percent this season versus his 11.4 percent rate from a year ago. There’s an interesting footnote to this number from Hutchinson here in 2023 because last year, 37.8. percent of his snaps were run defense—a phase in which he had just three missed tackles across 360 snaps. This year, Hutch is playing a lower percentage of snaps against the run, down to just 27.9 percent, and has only missed two tackles in that phase.
Hutchinson’s quarterback pressures are up, both him and his game are noticeably faster and stronger, but the missed opportunities as a pass rusher this season have cost the defense from some impact plays. In Week 7, the Lions needed any kind of help they could get in getting the Ravens stuck behind the sticks, and it just didn’t happen.
6 targets, 0 receptions, 2 drops
Still don’t think it’s time to panic about Jameson Williams, but there’s room for some impatience based on his performance against Baltimore.
Goff’s lone interception thrown was on a fourth-down play where Williams was the target, and there was clearly some sort of mishap or miscommunication. Williams carried his go route back across the middle of the field, looking over his left shoulder with the ball nowhere to be found.
In total, Williams had six targets, zero catches, and two drops on the day, and the noise will continue to grow louder for the young receiver if these kind of outings don’t end up being ring rust.