|Positional Unit||1st-Half Grade||Final Grade|
Lions vs. Packers
Final grades for Detroit
Pass Offense: Wow. Matthew Stafford made some early mistakes, but this passing game started to hum in the second half. Calvin Johnson was the recipient of a touchdown pass, as were Jeremy Ross and Kevin Ogletree. The Packers have had a mediocre secondary all season and Detroit took advantage of it in this contest. Stafford finished with 330 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Pass Defense: Detroit’s pass defense has been terrible this season. Coverage has been a challenge, cornerbacks have struggled and opposing quarterbacks have found openings everywhere. Today was the complete opposite of those problems. Matt Flynn threw for just 139 yards and Green Bay’s receivers had no room to breathe down the field. It would be incredible if Detroit can continue this moving forward.
Run Offense: This is the one-two punch that Lions fans have been hoping for in recent weeks. Joique Bell pounded for tough yards, gaining first down after first down. Reggie Bush overcame his early fumble and had a great day, with 182 all-purpose yards. Detroit finished with an astounding 242 rushing yards on the day and averaged 5.8 yards per carry.
Run Defense: Did anyone notice Eddie Lacy at any point during this game? It would have been hard to as he rushed for just 16 yards on the day. The Lions refused to allow Green Bay to establish a ground presence, as Lacy only had 10 carries. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley were the anchors, but the whole defensive line performed well.
Special Teams: If there is one blemish on an otherwise perfect game for Detroit it comes courtesy of the special teams. Punter Sam Martin forced not one, but two kickoffs out of bounds. David Akers added a missed field goal to continue his lackluster season.
Coaching: A perfectly executed game plan meant that the Lions won their first game on Thanksgiving since 2003. Detroit did not make stupid mistakes and had a balanced offensive philosophy that stayed consistent for four quarters. This is how good the Lions can be when they are firing on all cylinders.
1st-half grades for Detroit
Pass Offense: Turnovers killed the Lions offensive momentum last week and prevented them from beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Similar mistakes have kept Detroit from opening up this game against Green Bay. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a poor interception and was forced to fumble on another. Detroit does have 202 passing yards, but these drives keep stalling.
Pass Defense: It is obviously a much more manageable task to try and stop quarterback Matt Flynn instead of Aaron Rodgers, but give Detroit some credit. The Lions secondary has looked competent thus far and is playing sound coverage. Flynn only has 45 passing yards and the pass rush has forced three sacks already.
Run Offense: Reggie Bush guaranteed he would not fumble again this season, but that promise lasted only five quarters. Outside of that play, however, Detroit has found great success on the ground. Bush, Joique Bell and even Jeremy Ross have all found room to run, and the team has 148 total rushing yards in the first half.
Run Defense: There are few compliments left to heap upon the Detroit run defense. Eddie Lacy has been dominant in recent weeks, but the Lions are shutting him down just as they have to most other running backs they have come across. Lacy is averaging a mere 1.9 yards per carry and has 13 rushing yards so far.
Special Teams: Sam Martin made a sizable blunder early on as he booted a kickoff out of bounds and gave Green Bay great field position. However, there have been positives to look at. Ross has been good in the return game and David Akers hit a chip-shot field goal, but missed another one.
Coaching:There have not been any major coaching decisions forced onto Jim Schwartz’ shoulders to this point, but Detroit’s game plan has been solid.The Lions are moving the ball successfully on offense and shutting down the Packers on defense. A great coaching grade feels appropriate.