DET-CHI grades: WR Calvin Johnson earns season-best grade
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Detroit Lions’ 24-20 win over the Chicago Bears.
– QB Matthew Stafford (+1.9) finished the season on a high note. After starting the season with a -16.8 overall grade through the first eight weeks, Stafford bounced back to put up a +13.3 overall grade between weeks 10-17. Stafford was virtually flawless yesterday when he was given a clean pocket to throw, going 24-of-26 for 272 yards, two touchdowns, and a +3.9 PFF grade on throws without pressure.
– WR Calvin Johnson (+5.0) also finished on a high note, posting his highest overall grade of the season yesterday. Johnson caught 10-of-13 targets for 137 yards and a touchdown; he had his way with CB Tracy Porter (-3.0), making eight of his 10 catches while Porter was in coverage. The future Hall of Fame receiver finished the season with a cumulative overall grade of +24.0, fifth-best among the position.
– On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions were led by DE Ezekiel Ansah (+2.4). Ansah was most-accomplished as a pass rusher in Chicago (+2.5 pass rushing grade) racking up a sack, two QB hits, and two hurries, including a hit on Jay Cutler’s final throw that caused an interception. With a +14.1 cumulative overall grade for the season, Ansah finishes with our 12th best overall grade among 4-3 defensive ends.
WR Calvin Johnson (+5.0)
DE Ezekiel Ansah (+2.4)
LB Tahir Whitehead (+2.2)
DE Devin Taylor (+1.9)
QB Matthew Stafford (+1.9)
– QB Jay Cutler (+4.2) had a strong game with limited weapons, despite throwing three interceptions (he was hit as he threw two of them). Like Stafford, Cutler was very effective when given a clean pocket, going 12-of-15 for 195 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and a +1.9 grade on throws without pressure. Cutler bounced back in 2015 with a cumulative overall grade for the season of +5.4, a great improvement over the -13.6 overall grade he put up in 2014.
– It was not a good final game for the offensive line, which combined to post an overall grade of -11.8 yesterday. They were lead by C Matt Slauson (+0.8, the only member of the unit to have a grade north of -1.0 yesterday) who finishes the season with a cumulative overall grade of +18.3, splitting playing time between center and guard.
– On defense, the Bears were lead by OLB Pernell McPhee (+2.4). McPhee did a bit of everything yesterday (+0.5 run defense grade, +0.8 pass rushing grade, and +1.1 coverage grade) to compile that mark. McPhee finishes 2015 with a cumulative +35.9 overall grade, fourth-best among 3-4 OLBs.
QB Jay Cutler (+4.2)
OLB Pernell McPhee (+2.4)
WR Marc Mariani (+2.2)
HB Matt Forte (+1.7)
WR Josh Bellamy (+0.9)