CHI-DET Grades: Lions earn first win

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Lions' 37-34 overtime win against the Bears.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

CHI-DET Grades: Lions earn first win


Chicago Bears

– QB Jay Cutler (+2.0) continued his steady start to the season against Detroit. His base statistics of 26-of-41 for 354 yards, one touchdown, and an interception are unimpressive, but five dropped passes by his receivers distort the numbers somewhat. Cutler was particularly impressive under pressure, completing 6-of-11 attempts for 147 yards and a touchdown. Although his interception was a poor throw (Cutler was picked off when he underthrew an endzone fade), it wasn’t a bad decision. With four positively graded games in a row, Cutler’s stock is improving.

– WR Alshon Jeffery (+1.2) is a terrifying prospect when healthy. His overall grade is somewhat misleading, considering he committed a pair of penalties. Jeffery recorded a +3.1 receiving grade, catching 8-of-11 targets for 147 yards and a touchdown. The grade would have been even higher too, if not for a drop on a go-route that was perfectly placed by Cutler. It was also Jeffery who was targeted on the endzone fade that was picked off, but there was little he could do with the placement so poor. Only the aforementioned penalties prevented this from being a perfect comeback game—the pass interference he committed was especially unnecessary. Still, Chicago’s offense looks like a completely different prospect with Jeffery in the lineup.

– The Bears’ issues at corner came back to bite them against Detroit—and Megatron. Overall, the three corners to take more than 50 snaps combined for a -7.0 grade. None of Chicago’s corners have positive coverage grades, either, this season. Slot corner Sherrick McManis (-3.7 coverage grade) had the most issues, allowing five of six targets to be complete for 102 yards, a touchdown and a perfect QB rating. Tracy Porter (-1.4) meanwhile, is nothing more than a stopgap. He allowed five-of-eight targets for 71 yards and a score. Finally, having invested a first round pick in Kyle Fuller (-1.9), the Bears would be expecting more production. Fuller allowed all but one of his nine targets to be complete for 60 yards and two touchdowns.

Top performers

OLB Pernell McPhee (+3.3)

TE Martellus Bennett (+3.2)

ILB Christian Jones (+2.7)

QB Jay Cutler (+2.0)

C Hroniss Grasu (+2.0)

 

Detroit Lions

– Detroit’s offensive line has been an issue for a few years, but the addition of first-rounder Laken Tomlinson (+3.9) and return of Larry Warford (+2.3) has the potential to turn that weakness into a strength. Tomlinson had a slow start to the season, recording grades under -1.0 in each of his first four outings, but his performance against the Lions was much-improved. After giving up at least one knockdown in each of the previous four games, and 13 combined pressures, Tomlinson was perfect in pass protection (+2.6). He also recorded his first positive run blocking grade of the season. As for Warford, he’s a dominant player when healthy. His +2.3 grade on the back of a perfect day in pass protection suggests he’s getting back to his best.

– One area of weakness in the Lions’ offense is at tight end after Eric Ebron went down with an injury. Timothy Wright (-4.2) recorded the worst offensive grade for Detroit, struggling in both the run and pass game. As a receiver, he caught a touchdown pass to go with a pair of other receptions, but for just 17 yards with two drops. Wright also struggled more than any other Lion as a run blocker, recording a team-low -1.8 grade. With four games graded below -1.0 in a row, Detroit’s needs their starters to get healthy.

– MLB Stephen Tulloch’s (+2.3) inconsistent start to the season continued against the Bears. He’s excelled in run defense this year, and that was no different on Sunday, as Tulloch recorded an impressive +4.1 grade against the run. His good performance was illustrated by the six defensive stops he recorded, more than any other Lion. While Tulloch has performed well in run defense throughout the year, he’s struggled in coverage. That was the case again against the Bears, where Tulloch missed a pair of tackles, allowing significant yards after the catch.

Top performers

LG Laken Tomlinson (+3.9)

FB Michael Burton (+2.7)

WR Calvin Johnson (+2.6)

DE Ezekial Ansah (+2.4)

RG Larry Warford (+2.3)

MLB Stephen Tulloch (+2.3)

| Analyst

John joined the PFF team in 2008, providing focused analysis on the NFL draft, team-building strategies, and positional value.

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  • Aaron Martin

    Analysis of Tomlinson says he was much improved against the Lions, which would be tough for him. Did Manny Ramirez start at C? How was he?

    • Mike

      Man Ram didn’t start. I think he played one series at guard.

      • Aaron Martin

        Why would they let the train wreck that is Swanson start when Manny has had his best seasons at Center? As a Lions fan, I was rooting for the Bears. Better draft picks, and losing at least 12 games is the only way to get someone fired in Detroit.

        • Mike

          So you want them to lose to rebuild AND you want them to start the veteran that has very little upside and bench the 2nd year center? Those seems like conflicting directions. I’d personally rather seem them take their lumps with Tomlinson, Swanson and Warford with the hope that they gel into their interior line for the next 5 seasons.

          • Aaron Martin

            I would argue Swanson has no upside, and that keeping Stafford alive is conducive to a rebuild.

          • Mike

            haha good point. He has looked terrible but still, in a lost season I’d rather develop Swanson if there is the smallest grain of talent there.

          • Matthew Malek

            Swanson is a bust. With Ramirez in that Center detroit could have a dominant offensive line.

  • Jason Williams

    is it too late to trade Forte and try to tank the season? beating the Chiefs is going to come back to haunt the Bears come draft time.

    • Izach

      That’s stupid there is so much talent in the draft that order means nothing beyond variable scheme options. Wether bears pick 1st or 10th doesn’t matter. and it has never mattered to any team what does matter is talent evaluation and coaching stability not draft order, tanking never works for any team ever

      • Phil

        Colts for luck?

      • john the barber

        what an ignorant comment.

    • Tim Edell

      If we would of won the game we would of been 3-3 and the season has 10 games to go. Morons like you that want “their” teams to lose when they would be 1 game out of the wildcard are an embarrassment to true fans!

      • Jason Williams

        “morons like you” – MAN you must be a joy to be around… can we get coffee some time?

        • Tim Edell

          Moron was too kind sorry Jasin!

          • john the barber

            i think you need some help timmy.

      • CAN’TBEATMYPACKERS

        what a little baby, calling someone you don’t know a moron because you don’t agree with then on a football forum, grow up. glad you’re not my neighbor pal.

        • Tim Edell

          I call him a moron cuz he says he is a Bears fan and wants them to lose.. That my friend is the definition of a moron!!

          • jim

            did he call you a name little boy? grow up.

        • Tim Edell

          Your a moron too!! Do you root for the Packers to lose to get a better draft pick?? Exactly jumior!!

          • jim

            wow, five year old and an illiterate (jumior?) all wrapped up in one!

          • Tim Edell

            You cant teach dumb lil Jimmie now return to ESPN where ya came from k prick??!?!

          • jim

            what a bitter, hateful llittle child you are. why do you hate yourself so much that you have to lash out at everyone like you do?

          • john the barber

            moron? are you a pre teen? 12? 11? or, just very immature for your age. what a poor role model for your child. grow up.

          • john the barber

            it’s you’re, not your mr. illiterate. so, so dumb.

  • Jason Williams

    and how ironic is it that Cutler was terrible when we needed him to be great and now he’s good when we’d just rather have a bad QB?

    • Ty C Willinganz

      He becomes tradeable, though

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        nobody will ever, EVER, trade for that contract. and he’d be a fool to re-negotiate it’s terms as he has all the leverage as is

        • Ty C Willinganz

          don’t underestimate the power of QB salary inflation

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            haha, fair enough