DET-GB grades: Packers take big lead, hold Lions off late
Detroit Lions 27, Green Bay Packers 34
Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Packers’ Sunday win over the Lions:
Quarterback grade: Matt Stafford, 79.8
Lions rally under Stafford
Despite playing behind a struggling offensive line, Matt Stafford almost led the Lions to a historic comeback. Detroit’s front five failed to generate any push in the run game (2.3 yards per carry average), and gave up a combined two sacks, one hit and 12 pressures. Fighting through less than ideal circumstances, Stafford led the Lions to 21 unaswered points and within a score of Green Bay. He showed a great rapport with Marvin Jones, connecting on a couple of deep balls down the right sideline for touchdowns. In total, 146 of Stafford’s 385 yards came on downfield passes (20-plus yards), tops so far this week. Finally, although he had a couple of potential interceptions dropped, Stafford pick was a perfectly located throw, weakly surrendered from Eric Ebron’s arms to Damarious Randall.
Top offensive grades:
WR Marvin Jones, 87.7
FB Michael Burton, 83.8
QB Matt Stafford, 79.8
TE Eric Ebron, 74.9
HB Theo Riddick, 74.7
Contrasting fortunes for new personnel
Two new starters were added to Detroit’s offense this offseason. Free agent Marvin Jones arrived to replace the Canton-bound Calvin Johnson. Taylor Decker, meanwhile, was drafted to solve a long-term problem position as the franchise’s future blindside protector. Jones put in a superb performance, smoking Damarious Randall consistently. He caught all four of his targets against Randall for 115 yards and a score. Overall, Jones caught six of eight targets for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
Less positively, even with Clay Matthews’ absence, Taylor Decker struggled protecting Stafford. In total, he gave up two sacks and five hurries from 47 dropbacks, losing predominantly to Nick Perry and Kyler Fackrell. Decker found himself on the ground frequently against the Packers. He was also below average in the run game, earning a grade of just 47.8. The Lions can ill-afford another high draft pick wasted on the offensive line.
Top defensive grades:
LB Kyle Van Noy, 78.1
DE Kerry Hyder, 74.6
S Glover Quin, 73.3
LB Xavier Gooden, 72.4
CB Quandre Diggs, 70.1
A safety tying for the team-high in pressures is indicative of the struggles of the Lions’ without Ziggy Ansah. As a unit, Detroit’s defensive linemen managed only seven pressures in 119 snaps. Aaron Rodgers had all day to survey the field, and the secondary could not cope. Haloti Ngata had a respectable day, recording a sack and a hurry, but he was the exception. A prolonged absence for Ansah could cripple the Lions’ defense.
Quarterback grade: Aaron Rodgers, 83.1
Laid-back Rodgers enjoys Sunday stroll
A relaxed Aaron Rodgers bounced back with a strong performance against the Lions. His poor outing against the Vikings looks likely to go down as an anomaly. Rodgers moved the offense efficiently down the field, picking and choosing his moments to test the coverage deep. The Packers rolled up and down the field, thanks in large part to Rodgers accuracy. He earned an adjusted accuracy percentage of 75, racking up four touchdowns. Another key part of Rodgers’ game is his ability to avoid negative plays. He only completed one of six attempts for 33 yards against pressure, but more importantly ensured a turnover-free contest.
Top offensive grades:
QB Aaron Rodgers, 83.1
WR Jordy Nelson, 82.9
LT David Bakhtiari, 80.1
FB Aaron Ripkowski, 79.6
RG TJ Lang, 77.8
Nelson could elevate Packers offense
After a couple of solid (but unspectacular) games, Jordy Nelson gave the impression he was a notch below the level he achieved pre-injury. Chalk it down to rust, because he was outstanding against the Lions. Rodgers hooked up with his No. 1 receiver six times out of seven targets for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The duo cracked Detroit’s resistance in a two-minute drill at the end of the half, connecting on a perfectly timed fade in the right corner of the end zone. Expect plenty more big plays in the clutch from the Rodgers-Nelson connection.
Top defensive grades:
CB Ladarius Gunter, 87.5
DI Mike Daniels, 85.3
LB Joe Thomas Jr., 84.0
ED Nick Perry, 83.1
ED Julius Pepper, 81.7
Nick Perry enjoying career-best streak
A former first-round pick, Perry has underwhelmed in his career to this point. He has not managed more than 28 pressures, or 54.8 percent of snaps, in any season. Perry already has 16 combined in his first three games. He schooled rookie left tackle Taylor Decker amassing two sacks and three hurries and a batted pass from his 30 rushes. The USC product also led the team with a 90.6 run defense grade, highlighting the variety of his impact. Credit the Packers for maintaining faith in Perry, despite the slow start to his career.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Packers DT Mike Daniels, 85.3
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