The Detroit Lions continue to play complete football and put together impressive wins. They imposed their will on the Carolina Panthers from start to finish on Sunday, with some impressive performances in between. Here are your movers for the week:
Stock up: Ben Johnson, OC
Ben Johnson had a bit of a slow start to the season, but he sure is hitting his stride. This Lions offense was nothing short of a well-oiled machine on Sunday, in spite of being without two of their most talented offensive players and continued injuries along the offensive line. Johnson finds ways to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers, and brings the best out of average players by putting them in positions that play to their strengths. Forty-two points felt casual Sunday, and 42 points in the NFL is anything but casual.
Stock down: Marvin Jones Jr., WR
Stats: 2 catches, 22 yards
Marvin Jones Jr. was forced back on the field this week due to the collective effort to fill in amidst Amon-Ra St. Brown’s absence. Jones would have an ordinary day in the receiving game. However, he was a liability in the run game. We saw several well-blocked highlight runs from David Montgomery that were powered by excellent blocking in the second level. If you kept an eye out though, there were also several potential big runs for Montogomery that were blown up due to Jones taking poor angles and whiffing on his blocking assignments.
nothing bundt missed blocks— Ryan Mathews (@Ryan_POD) October 8, 2023
I love Jones and I want to see him succeed, but he just hasn’t been reliable since arriving in Detroit. Run blocking is a clear non-negotiable for wide receivers under this coaching staff, and he is nothing short of a liability.
Stock up: David Montgomery, RB
Stats: 19 rushes, 109 yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 20 yards
Back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for Montgomery! This time, it took much fewer carries. Despite getting good holes behind a talented offensive line, Montgomery doesn’t hold back on contact and still fights for every last yard. To do so at such a high volume is staggering, and he’s making this backfield continue to run smoothly in Jahmyr Gibbs’ absence.
Stock up: Craig Reynolds, RB
Stats: 7 rushes, 52 yards, 1 TD
Reynolds is in a similar boat to Montgomery, except his work came almost exclusively on the last offensive drive of the game. Forty-eight of his 52 yards came on that touchdown drive — all but one play was just handing the ball off to Reynolds. That resulted in Reynolds’ first career touchdown, and a well deserved one. David Montgomery and Lions RB coach Scottie Montgomery surely thoughts so:
He doesn’t often get significant regular season work, but he sure made the most of it Sunday. It should give the Lions confidence in Reynolds’ abilities to close out games (or make cameos in regular play) in the future.
Stock down: Emmanuel Moseley, CB
Emmanuel Moseley finally made his long-awaited debut, but it was short-lived. Moseley would go down early in the game, and it didn’t look good. Per Dan Campbell:
“Moseley we’ll know more tomorrow,” said coach Dan Campbell. “I know on tape or the replay it certainly didn’t look good, but we won’t know a ton until we get the MRI, which will be tomorrow afternoon.”
It’s hard to fault a guy for an injury he can’t control. However, for someone who was expected to help anchor the back end of this defense, early returns are not looking good.
Stock up: Taylor Decker, OT
It wasn’t Decker’s finest game, but he continues to fight through injury to show up for the Lions and keep disruptions at a minimum, especially as other linemen get shuffled around. An injured Decker is still far ahead of what a backup tackle has to offer. He’s been through a lot in Detroit, but continues to pour his heart into this team, and Sunday was a pretty significant career milestone for him.
There are tears rolling down the face of Taylor Decker, who just started his 100th game at left tackle for the Lions. The longest-tenured player for Detroit has seen some depths here. Now he's clearly moved to be part of the climb back up.— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) October 8, 2023
Stock down: Riley Patterson, K
Stats: 6/6 PATs
I can’t fault Patterson for his perfect PAT performance today. However, Patterson’s preseason 53-yarder that came up short has set a very clear bar for what the Lions trust out of their kicker. Being forced to punt from your opponent’s 38-yard game in a domed stadium is not a reliable strategy in the NFL. It’s a matter of when, not if, this comes back to bite the Lions.
Stock up: Jerry Jacobs, CB
Stats: 4 tackles, 1 INT
Jacobs continues to ride high after a slow start to the season. Sunday brought his third interception of the year, and this one might have been the most impressive. He snuck up from the flat at just the right time to pick off Bryce Young in the turkey hole.
That was a very high IQ play from Jerry, and surely one reflective of extensive film study. Nicely done.
Josh Reynolds, WR: Reynolds stepped in as WR1 amid Amon-Ra St. Brown’s absence. He’s a reliable stopgap guy and he’s outplaying his contract by a wide margin.
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE: Hutch continues to rack up INTs, an impressive feat for an edge rusher.
Will Harris, CB: Harris bounced back with a nice game after surrendering a moonshot against the Packers in Week 4. The Lions will need him to continue to play at a high level based on the current rate of Lions DBs dropping like flies.
Jameson Williams, WR: I really don’t want to give Jamo a stock down after his stellar run blocking Sunday. However, his drops from last season are continuing. It’s perplexing, since it was never a problem at Alabama. Hopefully he can find his rhythm soon.