DETROIT – The Detroit Lions won’t finish better than 0.500 after losing 31-24 to the Green Bay Packers in Week 14. See below for our notes on Detroit’s performance in the loss:
It wasn’t Matthew Stafford’s best performance, but the veteran quarterback definitely gave the Lions a chance. Stafford completed 24 of 34 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown. He left the game late with a rib injury inside the 5-yard line, taking a clumsy shot reminiscent of Oakland’s last year. Stafford underwent x-rays after the game, and his status for the future is unclear. He’s one of the league’s iron men, there’s no doubt about it, but the toll he takes by throwing this team on his back is piling up.
Stafford didn’t throw him into the field as much as he had in recent weeks, but executed a unique offensive attack, appearing to incorporate more pre-snap moves into the shot. Stafford averaged nearly 12 planned and completed aerial yards last week, the most in the league. He averaged 4.1 yards planned and 6.4 yards completed per pitch on Sunday. Stafford threw his only touchdown on a nifty little junkyard at TJ Hockenson on the goal line, a page from Andy Reid’s tip book.
Chase Daniel finished the game, completing three of six passes for 29 yards. Jamal Agnew gave the offense a 71-yard punt return 10 points behind, but the offense could not do more than a field goal. Give props to the save to get in and throw in a third dime while taking a big hit to the face, however. Category B
D’Andre Swift was back in action for the first time in three games, leading the backfield with 11 total touches. He ran seven times for 24 yards and one scoring, catching four passes for 26 yards. Swift showed flashes and appeared to walk through the game without any issues.
Adrian Peterson had another start, running four times for 7 yards. Peterson had a crack inside the 5-yard line to no avail. It was an indescribable performance after making four touchdowns in the previous two games. Kerryon Johnson ran twice for 3 yards and a touchdown, catching a pass for 10 yards. There was some good work in the on-screen game late, seeing Peterson take 23 yards with a ton of real estate and blockers in front of him. Rating: C +
It’s hard to talk about Receivers Day without mentioning the Marvin Jones capture that wasn’t. Jones put in a breathtaking effort, making the catch and doing his best to extend his toes in their new home inside the Ford Field turf. It was deemed incomplete, but give it up to Jones on that one. He finished with four catches for 48 yards.
Danny Amendola quietly led the group, hitting six balls on seven targets for 66 yards. Amendola made a few plays as he sneaked past the catch, keeping the offense on the pitch. Mohamed Sanu showed this chemistry with Stafford during the first practice, but didn’t do much afterwards. Sanu caught two passes for 37 yards, both on that first drive. Quintez Cephus caught two passes for 16 yards, but couldn’t handle a weak one in the fourth quarter. Jamal Agnew added a catch for 4 yards. The Lions are trying to find ways to keep Agnew involved, but he mostly gets stuck on offense. Category B
TJ Hockenson had six receptions for 43 yards and one touchdown on 11 targets leading the team. He dropped two down the middle but showed a bit of versatility taking the shovel while crossing the line of scrimmage at the goal line on the score. He was the only tight end targeted that day. Up and down for the young tight end, who added some impressive holds to go along with those tough whoopsies. Category B-
Detroit’s offensive line held on for most of the day, but when they showed some cracks they opened up. The Lions were riding late in the first half, looking to take the lead after a rare punt forced by the defense. Two sacks for an 18-yard loss on straight games propelled the Lions into a punt rather than a halftime lead. Matt Nelson and Oday Aboushi were beaten on these two. A call on hold on Nelson also prevented a late table touchdown.
Another solid day for center Frank Ragnow, who was moving bodies on Swift’s touchdown run, handling Kenny Clark in the middle. Stafford has been sacked four times and hit six times. The rushed offense scored twice, averaging 3.4 yards per carry over 15 attempts. Rating: D +
Green Bay attacked the Lions with a two-headed backfield, separating races between Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. It wasn’t a record-breaking day for either, but they stacked up a few early tries, doing their part to keep Detroit’s defense on the pitch. Jones ran 15 times for 69 yards. Williams took 10 cracks for 38 yards.
The Lions had no sacks, with Austin Bryant the only defenseman to hit Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay finished eight for 11 on the third down attempts, and it’s easy to see why, without nothing looking like pressure. It’s also worth noting that the Lions were without Everson Griffen, who was put on the COVID reserve list over the weekend. Rating: D
Green Bay’s offense has isolated Detroit linebackers a few times and sidelined the game. Rodgers hit Robert Tonyan to increase his lead to 14 points, making it easier for Lions linebacker Jahlani Tavai on the 4-yard touchdown. Rodgers returned to Tonyan on the third and fifth, easily scoring 6 yards to put the game on the ice. The rushed offense was held in check at the second level, but a group of linebackers not creating pressure or covering no one? Not great. Note: D-
Aaron Rodgers didn’t let the ball hit the grass too often. He had 26 of 33 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers hit Davante Adams for an early 56-yard touchdown, a play worthy of a highlight with Amani Oruwariye left in the dust. While he was in the corner of the sophomore year, he couldn’t have done much more to cover Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s impressive 21-yard touchdown.
Darryl Roberts did a nice SEB on the sidelines to give Rodgers his first incompletion. Justin Coleman put up one hell of a tackle for Aaron Jones’ loss, but that’s all there is to remember. Note: D-
You mean a group that gives this team a chance? Look no further than the Detroit special teams, bolstering coordinator Brayden Coombs’ thriving resume. Matt Prater was successful in his only field goal attempt, connecting on all three extra point attempts.
Jack Fox averaged 44 neat yards on three punts, putting in quite an effort on the last attempt in play. Miles Killebrew almost came with this ball, and it was so close to the required 10 yards that the officials got it on. took another look.
Last but not least is former All-Pro returner Jamal Agnew, who gave the Detroit punchers a chance with his 71-yard kick return. The offense only collected 3 points, but give in to this group for doing the most. Note: A
Detroit’s latest loss looked like a carbon copy of one of their 2019 losses. The offense kept the game alive, while the shorthanded defense struggled to leave the field while managing to keep the game going. things at hand.
It’s time to take second and 10-kill calls and chip flickers out of the playbook for the rest of 2020, though. The league has seen them, they’re not surprised, and the big game factor no. just hasn’t been there. Darrell Bevell deserves credit for his attacking approach and would have been much better if it hadn’t been for that disastrous third quarterback with the offense on the sidelines.
There isn’t much to say about defense after a game like this. The pass rush was lacking in body, and it showed. Rodgers was able to stay in the pocket for as long as he wanted, and the only time he took off he scored. He’s one of the best in all of this NFL quarterback for a reason, and he’s barely sweated despite that score portraying a tighter one-game picture. Rating: C +