News & Analysis

Refocused: Detroit Lions 16, New York Jets 6

By PFF Analysis Team
Aug 20, 2017

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DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 19: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a second quarter touchdown during the preseason game against the New York Jets on August 19, 2017 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Offenses sputtered or the defenses shined, however you want to look at it, the Detroit Lions defeated the New York Jets, 16-6, on Saturday night as the two teams combined for five field goals. No matter who was under center for the Jets, be it Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty, the Lions defensive front looked sharp in keeping New York’s offense out of the end zone.

Detroit QB Matthew Stafford tossed the game’s lone touchdown – a five-yard toss to Marvin Jones and with that we give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades

DI Akeem Spence, 86.0 overall grade

S Rolan Milligan, 80.6 overall grade

CB DJ Hayden, 79.8 overall grade

CB Nevin Lawson, 79.5 overall grade

HB Dwayne Washington, 78.2 overall grade

Performances of note:

T Greg Robinson, 43.6 overall grade

Losing starting LT Taylor Decker for at least the first half of the season might cause problems for the Detroit offense as the recently traded for Robinson struggled to make a positive impact in the run game. He held up alright in pass protection but did allow a QB hit and was beaten on one other occasion. On 46 pass blocking snaps this preseason, Robinson has allowed one hit and two hurries for a pass blocking efficiency of 95.1, a mark that currently sits at 61st best amongst offensive tackles.

TE Michael Roberts, 77.3 overall grade

The rookie from Toledo has been touted as solid run blocking tight end and he didn’t disappoint against the Jets’ backups as he finished with the best run blocking grade of the game at 84.2. On top of his excellent run blocking, Roberts added two catches for 29 yards including an impressive 22-yard catch and run on a tightly covered out route.

DI Akeem Spence, 86.0 overall grade

Spence consistently wreaked havoc in the New York backfield, as he was able to jump several snap counts and rack up a sack, a hurry and a run stop. He beat his man so cleanly off the snap on his sack that he was able to essentially beat Hackenberg to the top of his drop and finish him in well-under 2.0 seconds.

CB Jamal Agnew, 44.2  overall grade

Agnew saw six targets into his coverage during second half play, double the total of any other Lion. He struggled to gain positioning on his man throughout the game, as he surrendered catches on five of those for 61 yards, and Jets QB Bryce Petty had a passer rating of 109.0 when throwing into his coverage.

Top 5 Grades

DI Sheldon Richardson, 85.5 overall grade

LB Darron Lee, 83.2 overall grade

TE Jordan Leggett, 82.8 overall grade

QB Bryce Petty, 81.7 overall grade

CB Dexter McDougle, 81.4 overall grade

Performances of note:

QB Bryce Petty, 81.7 overall grade

Petty’s intermediate and deep passing was on tonight, as he connected on five of nine attempts longer than 10 yards for 90 yards. His numbers could have been even better, as he threw an interception on the final play of the game that was really a 50/50 ball in a desperation situation. On the drive prior to that he threw another seam ball that could have been caught as well, but was defended tightly by Detroit and his target was unable to make the play.

TE Jordan Leggett, 82.8 overall grade

Leggett was clearly Petty’s go-to man, as he hauled in two grabs for 40 yards, both going for first downs. However, he was also the intended target on Petty’s two aforementioned deep balls, and while neither were considered drops, the first was certainly catchable and on the second he was outplayed by the Detroit defensive back for the interception.

DI Sheldon Richardson, 85.5 overall grade

In just 22 snaps this preseason, Richardson has looked like a man on a mission despite not racking up the box score stats. Against Detroit’s offensive line, the Missouri Tiger product recorded one QB hit and two stops on just 16 snaps while being pretty much unblockable on all plays. He also picked up two stops in run defense against the Lions.

LB Darron Lee, 83.2 overall grade

The former Ohio State Buckeye struggled in all facets of the game as a rookie in 2016, especially as a coverage linebacker, but showed good improvement on 37 snaps against the Lions. Lee was targeted four times and did allow three catches but for only 23 yards while also adding in four stops and a QB hurry.

PFF Game Ball: Akeem Spence, DI

*Grades subject to change

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