CHI-DET grades: Bears QB Brian Hoyer impresses against Lions

Highest-graded player and top takeaways from the Bears' Week 4 win over the Lions.

| 9 months ago
Bears QB Brian Hoyer

(Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

CHI-DET grades: Bears QB Brian Hoyer impresses against Lions

Chicago Bears 17, Detroit Lions 14

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Bears’ 17-14 win over the Lions.

Detroit Lions

Quarterback grade: Matthew Stafford, 49.1

Stafford struggles with accuracy throughout game

The Lions’ offensive line was outstanding in pass protection, allowing pressure on just six of their 40 pass plays, but Matt Stafford was unable to capitalize. Stafford struggled with accuracy throughout the game, and there were communication breakdowns with his receivers on at least one of his two interceptions. Chicago blitzed just three times, content to sit back in coverage and force Stafford to beat them with accurate passes. Stafford did not get much help from his receivers outside of top target Marvin Jones, who finished with five catches for 74 yards and caught all four of his targets when covered by Bears CB Tracy Porter.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford versus pressure in Week 4

Matthew Stafford versus pressure

Top offensive grades:

LT Taylor Decker, 81.9

C Travis Swanson, 74.3

RG Larry Warford, 73.4

LG Laken Tomlinson, 70.7

WR Anquan Boldin, 69.3

Poor run-blocking from Lions’ O-line leads to limited rushing day

LT Taylor Decker and LG Laken Tomlinson were both perfect in pass protection, leading the team with pass-blocking grades of 85.6 and 86.5, respectively. Detroit had a tough day in the run game however, earning a negative team run-blocking grade and failing to create lanes for RB Theo Riddick. The Lions finished the game with 66 rushing yards, and 48 of them came after contact.

Top defensive grades:

CB Darius Slay, 83.7

DT Haloti Ngata, 78.5

S Glover Quin, 78.1

LB Kyle Van Noy, 76.5

S Rafael Bush, 75.3

Strong outing from cornerback Darius Slay

There were some strong individual performances among Detroit’s defensive players, but the unit was unable to provide much resistance, especially against the pass. CB Darius Slay was excellent, allowing just two catches for 12 yards on his five targets, with a pass defensed and a sack on his only pass-rush of the game. Bears QB Brian Hoyer was more successful looking elsewhere, finishing a combined 13-of-14 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown when targeting CB Quandre Diggs, LB Tahir Whitehead, and LB Antwione Williams in coverage. Pass-rush was seriously lacking for the Lions throughout the game; defensive ends Devin Taylor, Kerry Hyder, and Wallace Gilberry each finished the game with 25+ pass-rushes without recording a hit or sack. Detroit currently owns the lowest-graded pass-rush and run defense in the league.

Chicago Bears

Quarterback grade: Brian Hoyer, 83.6

Hoyer-Royal connection leads Chicago’s offense

Brian Hoyer earned his best grade since Week 6 of the 2015 season, and was excellent under pressure (six-for-eight for 44 yards, two touchdowns, and a 127.1 QB Rating when under pressure). The Bears’ game plan called for a heavy dose of underneath passes, but Hoyer was two-for-three for 86 yards on passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield. WR Eddie Royal caught all seven passes thrown his way, finishing with 111 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Bears QB Bryan Hoyer versus pressure in Week 4

Brian Hoyer under pressure

Top offensive grades:

WR Eddie Royal, 83.8

QB Brian Hoyer, 83.6

LG Josh Sitton, 81.4

RT Bobby Massie, 76.9

LT Charles Leno, 72.6

Josh Sitton continuing to impress as late-offseason pickup

Rookie HB Jordan Howard was a workhorse for the Bears, rushing 23 times for 111 yards, and forcing three missed tackles. Chicago finished with an average run-blocking grade as a team, but C Cody Whitehair earned the first negative grade of his career after struggling with Lions DT Haloti Ngata at times. LG Josh Sitton was perfect in pass protection for the third consecutive week, and currently trails only Ravens’ star Marshal Yanda in pass-blocking grade among all NFL guards.

Top defensive grades:

LB Jerrell Freeman, 86.2

CB Bryce Callahan, 85.8

NT Will Sutton, 77.2

CB Deiondre Hall, 73.9

DE Akiem Hicks, 73.2

Jerrell Freeman impresses in coverage and against the run

LB Jerrell Freeman and CB Bryce Callahan led the Bears in overall grade, largely due to their strong work in pass coverage. Callahan was targeted eight times and allowed three catches for just 15 yards (1.9 yards per attempt) with a pass defense. Freeman has been one of the best coverage linebackers in football during his career, and currently ranks second among NFL linebackers in coverage grade. The Bears defense missed OLB Pernell McPhee in this game, as their pass-rush was non-existent. McPhee’s replacement, Sam Acho, recorded 31 pass-rushing snaps without a single pressure. Chicago’s run defense was excellent, led by NT Will Sutton (81.2), Freeman (76.9), and DE Mitch Unrein (76.0).

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Bears QB Brian Hoyer

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

  • Kenny Hoang

    The only time Hoyer will be a Game-Ball Winner

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think he will be able to live with that considering there was never any expectation of him being anything but a backup to Cutler.

  • Jason Williams

    17 points will not win many games.

    • crosseyedlemon

      True, but it at least ends the 6 game win streak the Lions had in the series. I don’t think Bear fans are still deluding themselves that this is a playoff caliber team. Kevin White is again injured, so improvement on offense will be coming later rather than sooner. I suspect most fans in Chicago are content to ignore the ineptitude of the Bears for the next couple of weeks and get behind the Cubs.

  • Real quiet

    Very surprised lions offensive line pass protected that well. Not saying they were bad but outstanding? I didn’t see that at all.

  • dlund6cutler

    I’m really glad we signed Freeman who I think might be a top 5 ILB in the NFL. And the Eddie Royal signing doesn’t seem as bad as it did a year ago.