Of course I spend the last ten weeks shouting “brand new Lions” from the rooftops, only for the Detroit Lions to be humiliated in front of their largest audience of the year. We’ve got lots of movers this week, and it’s safe to say it’s a bear market.
As a reminder, stock report is reflective of changes in player performance and expectations. If a player who is expected to play well plays well, or vice versa, they may not see a change in stock.
Stock down: Jared Goff, QB
Stats: 29/44, 332 yards, 2 TD, 3 fumbles lost
I thought we left the days of starting every stock report with Jared Goff in 2022. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Since some point in mid-October, Goff has started to look more uneasy each week. Last week against the Bears was the worst we had seen yet, but he was able to rebound well enough to overcome his mistakes. This week, he had no such rebound, spiraling into the Jared Goff of 2021. The offensive play calling quickly made it evident that Ben Johnson couldn’t trust Goff to do much in the second half.
Before you say it, yes Goff was under a lot of pressure. His offensive line did him no favors Thursday. However, one of Goff’s weakest traits since he entered the league has been his ability to navigate the pocket and keep his eyes downfield while he’s under pressure. He showed tremendous growth in that area through the first month or two of the season, but the progress is quickly unwinding. Thursday, he looked flustered and unable to compose himself, let alone his offense. He missed receivers, lost the football, and was just throwing wobbly passes on passes where he was untouched. Inexcusable football from Goff on Thursday.
Stock down: Cam Sutton, CB
Stats: 2 tackles
I’ll be really curious once the stats come out how many passing yards were attributed against Sutton in coverage on Thursday. I’m certain of one thing: it’ll be at least 53 yards. On the first play of the game, Jordan Love wound up a 53-yard bomb to Christian Watson, who came down with it between Sutton and Tracy Walker (we’ll get to him shortly). On replay, Watson just... ran by Cameron Sutton. There was no double move, no head fake. He just ran past the Lions’ CB1. Similar to Goff, Sutton has looked more and more out of place in recent weeks after a stellar start to the season.
Stock down: Tracy Walker III, S
Stats: 6 tackles, 1 QB hit
Walker continues to be a menace when it comes to tackling and run defense, but those are secondary, pun intended, to covering receivers. Walker was equally at fault on Watson’s big catch on the Packers’ first play. The number one job as a safety is to keep everything in front of you, and Walker failed to do so from the start.
In the second half, Lions safeties were playing much deeper. The problem is, they were playing too deep. There were a handful of Packers plays from the Lions’ 30-40 yard line where the receivers were running routes 10-15 yards deep and the Lions safeties were literally standing on the goal line. I felt like my eyes were deceiving me. That leaves cornerbacks with no interior support in a place on the field where there isn’t much real estate for receivers to beat them deep. Most high school football players could tell you the fundamentals of playing safety; I can’t believe an NFL defense is routinely failing to execute on them.
Stock down: Taylor Decker, OT
Taylor Decker has been a rock for the Lions all year, but he was not immune from whatever got into the rest of this Lions team on Thursday. Packers EDGE Rashan Gary spent most of the day lined up opposite of Taylor Decker, and he’d finish the day with a career-high three sacks. Two of those sacks resulted in Jared Goff fumbles that the Packers would go on to recover, including one for a touchdown. A game to forget for Decker from start to finish.
Stock up: Kalif Raymond, WR
Stats: 5 rec, 90 yds, 1 rush, 6 yds
Raymond came up big Thursday, posting his highest receiving yardage since the last game of the 2021 season. He didn’t get a ton of targets, but he caught every ball that came his way and was huge in using his speed to get yardage after the catch. It was a huge change from the first Packers game, where Raymond was all but nonexistent. His slipperiness on Thursday kept the Lions in it late in the game when they needed a conversion. Without him stepping up, this game would have ended a lot uglier.
Stock down: Jerry Jacobs, CB
Thursday was a reminder that Jacobs’ best fit is as a very strong CB3. He can step up at CB2 or even CB1, as we saw a lot last year, but for limited stretches. He put together a strong set of games since October but struggled last week and then was nonexistent Thursday against the Packers. It didn’t matter who he lined up against - Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, Marcus Heath - they all made quick work of Jacobs, who found himself bargaining with the officials for a flag more often than he actually did something about it. The only thing that could stop the Packers receivers when they lined up against Jacobs was themselves.
Stock up: Malcolm Rodriguez, FB
Stats: 1 reception, 6 yards
Three years ago, we watched Jason Cabinda, a linebacker, unseat the incumbent Lions fullback in a shocking underdog victory. Now, Malcolm Rodriguez may be trying to repeat that, this time at Cabinda’s expense.
Since Cabinda went on IR early in the season, the Lions haven’t had a fullback on their roster. A couple weeks ago, we saw Malcolm Rodriguez take limited fullback snaps in game for the first time. Thursday, Rodrigo caught his first pass as a fullback. This has come out of nowhere, and it’s hard to tell if it’s here to stay. However, it may be telling that the Lions have yet to re-activate Cabinda from IR despite him being eligible almost three weeks ago. Perhaps Cabinda just isn’t ready yet. Perhaps the Lions are taking their time to evaluate their new option. Regardless, Rodrigo continues to find ways to contribute and stick to this roster no matter how things shake out. You just know this guy loves football.
Jameson Williams, WR: Despite just two catches Thursday, Jamo’s utilization was way different. He got short and intermediate looks that are long overdue and allowed him space so we could get a look at vintage Jamo like we saw at Alabama. Let’s keep these rolling, please.
Brian Branch, S: Branch was one of the few consistent bright spots on Thursday and is continuing to return to a high level of play following an ankle injury.
John Cominsky, DL: The Commish has all but disappeared this year. He has just 18 tackles and a single sack two-thirds of the way through the season. It’s not like he’s getting pressures that aren’t converting to sacks, either. He’s been invisible and not playing like the player we saw in 2022.