GB-DET Grades: TE Richard Rodgers hauls in game-winner, career-high grade

The top takeaways and highest-grade players from the Packers' 27-23 TNF victory over the Lions.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

GB-DET Grades: TE Richard Rodgers hauls in game-winner, career-high grade

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Packers’ 27-23 victory over the Lions:

Detroit Lions

– The Lions underwent a great deal of upheaval along their defensive line last season, so to get such a strong game from multiple members of their new look front is a major positive. Jason Jones (+2.7), Haloti Ngata (+2.1), Ezekiel Ansah (+1.9) and Devin Taylor (+2.0) all earned grades of +1.5 or higher, and all contributed multiple pressures on Aaron Rodgers. Taylor and Ansah combined to record three sacks on the Packers’ quarterback, but ultimately came up one play short of holding onto the victory.

– Matthew Stafford’s turnaround from a dire start to the season continued with another solid performance last night (+1.1), though there were missed opportunities that could have clinched the victory and avoided the agonizing nature of their defeat. Stafford was strong down the middle of the field, completing 16-of-21 passes targeted between the numbers, earning a PFF passing grade of +2.6, but hitting on only one of his six deep passes (Calvin Johnson’s spectacular touchdown catch) kept the Packers in touch for their late game heroics.

– The investment of high picks puts pressure on Larry Warford (+2.2) and Laken Tomlinson (+1.8) to produce better performances than they have so far this season, but solid displays last night should build confidence that they can provide a strong guard pairing moving forward. Both graded positively for the second straight week, making strong blocks in line and pulling to the edge, though the Lions’ running to the edge was consistently let down by their tight ends.

Top performers:

DE Jason Jones (+2.7)

RT Michael Ola (+2.5)

WR Golden Tate (+2.4)

RG Larry Warford (+2.2)

DT Haloti Ngata (+2.1)


Green Bay Packers

– This turnaround for the Packers was all about decisive moments, rather than long periods of control over the game; their shorthanded offensive line, in particular, did not allow them to do this. One such moment came courtesy of Julius Peppers (+2.6), as the Packers capitalized on two fumbles on consecutive plays from scrimmage to convert a 20-point deficit to a six-point deficit in less than two minutes. Tearing past Riley Reiff (-1.5), Peppers got to Matthew Stafford as he threw to set the Packers up at the Lions’ 12-yard line.

– From there, Aaron Rodgers (+1.0) hooked up with Davante Adams (-0.3) to convert a third down with a pinpoint throw over Josh Bynes (+0.2) to bring the Packers within six with four minutes remaining in the third quarter, having barely been in the game for the first 35 minutes of the night. Rodgers’ performance behind a patchwork offensive line was impressive; pressured on 19 of his 23 dropbacks, he racked up a passer rating of 117.9 on plays where he was not pressured, but that tumbled to 43.8 when he was pressured.

– The effect of the backup linemen coming into the game was no better illustrated than on the one play that made tackle David Bakhtiari (+1.1) feel missed early in the fourth quarter. Bakhtiari and Sitton (+1.3) combined to allow only two pressures, compared to the 14 from Lane Taylor (-2.5) and Don Barclay (-.83) on the right side, but when Bakhtiari went down, the Lions went right at backup Josh Walker (-0.9) with a stunt on third-and-long. Walker chased, rather than looking to exchange on the stunt, and the result was an easy sack for Ezekiel Ansah. The Packers are walking a tight rope in many areas of their offense right now, but they are doing just enough to stay alive in the playoff race, and could be a threat if a consistent target can emerge for Rodgers.

Top performers:

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (+3.3)

TE Richard Rodgers (+3.1)

S Morgan Burnett (+2.8)

OLB Julius Peppers (+2.6)

S Micah Hyde (+1.8)

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Greg Mueller

    that a typo? Don Baclay -.83 or -8.3?

    • idgafkurt

      I think it was -83.3

    • Joe Doe

      If Don Barclay plays one down, you know anything above a -1.0 is a typo.

  • John V

    Stafford just a +1.1 for the overall game, come on PFF…………….outside of last week it seems you guys have missed Stafford all year with how well he’s played. Everyone else I know who has watched him this season feels like he’s done a good job this season especially when he’s had time (which hasn’t been much).

    • Mike Weisel

      He played well for about 1 qtr, 4/13 on third down after first qtr. Fumbled which lead to GB TD, Matt Stafford is great with great protection, absolute garbage with pressure. Take away calvin making great catches, how much worse would he look?

    • Jonathan Seidman

      because you’re stupid and still can’t figure it out that Stafford is AVERAGE at best.

      take away Megatron and Stafford would have been gone years ago.

  • Andrew

    Weird to see 3 of the 5 highest graded Packers all be safeties.

    • brewers_rule

      I was wondering about GB’s secondary depth and if Capers has considered utilizing it the way AZ does theirs, essentially starting a DB as a LB w/Chris Clemons. Considering our LB depth isn’t the greatest & we could always use more pass rush/coverage flexibility.

  • brewers_rule

    Man, HHCD sure has turned it around since that atrocious Carolina game. I’m curious what the WR breakdown in scores was. Feels like Janis/Abbrederis weren’t too bad but they vanished from the field after the first few series despite the others not doing much.

    • Joe Doe

      I would like to see those guys get a little more playing time. Their hustle would be beneficial and Jones could benefit from resting his legs.

  • Tommy

    There is no fair playing field for coach McCarthy. Lacy fumbles and goes to the bench for a quarter, every time. Starks fumbled twice and dropped two passes and continued to go right back into the game. This following two games where Lacy rushed for over 100 and averaged 6.2 per carry last week with a 25 yard receiving TD. Coach decides not to use him basically at all vs DET. He gets a pass due to a Miracle play or he would be answering a million questions about a lack of run game and not using Eddie Lacy. Hypocrite.

    • Tim Edell

      Lacy missed curfew the day before the game thus his lack of consistent playing time

      • Tommy

        he missed the hotel curfew because he was downstairs in the workout room of the hotel, really…. U think the coach would have put Aaron Rodgers on the bench for missing curfew for the same reason???? Without Jordy, GB has two weapons that defenses are worried about, Cobb and Lacy. If they didn’t have 14 pts off fluke plays the coach would have been answering alot more tough questions about his decision.

  • Joe Doe

    My greatest concern for the Packers offense is the lack of adjustments made by Clements. We saw better than half of our starting offensive line out for the majority of the game, and still very few designed three step drops. Our screen plays have been successful, but underutilized, particularly in the first half. Great coaches can make adjustments, others should be in college.