DET-NO grades: Stafford excellent in Lions win

The highest-graded players and biggest takeaways from Detroit’s win over New Orleans.

| 6 months ago
matt stafford

DET-NO grades: Stafford excellent in Lions win

Detroit Lions 28, New Orleans Saints 13

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Detroit’s win over New Orleans.

 Detroit Lions

Quarterback grade: Matt Stafford, 82.4

Stafford’s ability to make accurate throws on third down and against the rush allowed the Lions to extend drives throughout the game. He was pressured on nine drop-backs, and on those plays he ran for a first down and completed three of six throws for 74 yards and a touchdown, good for a QB rating of 134.7. He also hurt New Orleans deep, as he completed three of six throws that traveled at least 20 yards through the air for 137 yards, including the dagger of a touchdown to Golden Tate.

Top offensive grades:

QB Matt Stafford, 82.4
OT Taylor Decker, 81.7
WR Golden Tate, 77.4
OG Larry Warford, 72.8
TE Eric Ebron, 72.3

Line does its part to keep Stafford upright 

While the Saints tallied two sacks on the day, both were charged to Stafford as a result of his scrambling. The offensive line gave up just six total pressures, led by C Travis Swanson’s third clean slate of the season. While most of the Lions receivers picked apart the Saints’ secondary with underneath targets, Golden Tate became the downfield threat with Marvin Jones out of action. He pulled in eight of ten targets for 144 yards, a total that included receptions of 66, 35 and 15 yards.


Top defensive grades:

S Tavon Wilson, 85.2
S Glover Quin, 83.8
CB Darius Slay, 82.1
LB Josh Bynes, 78.4
DE Kerry Hyder, 71.7

Excellent all-around day for the secondary despite a limited pass rush

The Lions managed just one sack and three hits for the game (ten total pressures), which normally leads to a huge afternoon for the Saints’ offense. This was not the case today, however, as Detroit’s entire secondary had strong performances. Safeties Glover Quin led the way by combining for two interceptions and a pass break up, and star CB Darius Slay also had an excellent break up on a downfield crossing route. 

New Orleans Saints

Quarterback grade: Drew Brees, 53.1

Brees completed 31 of 39 aimed targets, but he did the majority of his damage on underneath routes and in garbage time. His biggest struggles were on intermediate throws, as he completed just two of six attempts on throws that traveled 10-19 yards through the air for 28 yards and two interceptions. He was also dismal against Detroit’s pass rush, as he completed just three of seven attempts when faced with the rush for 46 yards and a QB rating of 25.6.


Top offensive grades:

C Max Unger, 72.6
WR Brandin Cooks, 72
OT Zach Strief, 70.9
OG Jahri Evans, 69.7
TE Coby Fleener, 69.4

Excellent interior pass blocking, but poor run blocking

All of Detroit’s pressures came from the edge, as fill-in LT Andrus Peat and RT Zach Streif combined to give up eight total pressures while all three interior players had clean slates. However, no one on the line had success moving Detroit off the ball, as C Max Unger was the only lineman to post a run block grade higher than 50.0. WR Brandin Cooks had 73 yards receiving, but was held to -2 yards after the catch on his seven grabs. 

Top defensive grades:

S Kenny Vaccaro, 84.4
DE Cameron Jordan, 81.9
S Jairus Byrd, 81.1
LB Craig Robertson, 74.7
DT David Onyemata, 72.3 

Safeties shine despite loss

Vaccaro and Byrd combined for 15 solo tackles on the day, six of them stops. Vaccaro was especially strong in man coverage working in the slot, as he gave up five catches on nine targets but just 23 yards. CB Delvin Breaux had an up-and-down day, as he forced two incompletions by cutting off routes before the throw but gave up catches on his other six targets for a total of 98 yards and a QB rating against of 115.6.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Lions QB Matt Stafford

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.


| Analyst

Josh joined PFF as an analyst in 2015. During the season, his primary focus is college football (mainly the Big Ten). He is also heavily involved in PFF's NFL draft coverage. Prior to joining the team, he worked for six years with GM Jr. Scouting, an independent draft scouting service.

Comments are closed.