By Chris Morgan
The Detroit Lions were clinging to their playoff hopes before Sunday’s game. They were still technically in it, but they needed things to go their way, and they absolutely needed to win. Fortunately, they were hosting the New York Giants, who are not good. Unfortunately, the Lions are an awful franchise who disappoint their fans year in and year out. Despite the Giants trying to give the Lions the win, Detroit politely refused, and the Giants ended up winning 23-20 in overtime. Detroit’s chances of a winning record, much less make the playoffs, are dead, as is Jim Schwartz’s tenure more than likely. Here are the grades for yet another awful Lions performance.
Quarterback Grade: F
Once again, if you are looking for the main problem for the Lions, you do not need to look any further than Matthew Stafford. Stafford went 25-for-42 for 222 yards and two interceptions. One of those picks was returned for a touchdown, and that was late in the fourth quarter when the Lions were leading 20-13. Sure, he completed a two-point conversion, but that’s just not enough. This was an awful game for Stafford. It is another in a list of many.
Offense Grade: C-
Granted, the Giants are good on defense but the Lions were at home and they only managed 20 points. Two of those came on a safety. Stafford was awful, and the team only managed 355 yards of offense. Only Joique Bell was not a massive disappointment. He led the team in rushing and receiving and scored their only touchdown. Reggie Bush had a bad game, including a fumble. Calvin Johnson was held to three catches for 43 yards. Only Bell salvaged this offense’s grade.
Special Teams Grade: B-
The special teams were not an issue. Sam Martin punted well averaging just over 45 yards per punt and Jeremy Ross had a good day returning kicks. David Akers converted his lone field goal and lone extra point. The Lions did let up a big kick return, but that was the only problem.
Defense Grade: B
The Giants have been having problems on offense, and the Lions defense did fairly well. After all, one of New York’s touchdowns was on defense. The Giants were held to 279 yards of offense in a game that went into overtime. The Lions got two sacks on defense, one from Nick Fairley and one from Ziggy Ansah. Glover Quin had an interception. The Lions also recovered a fumble. The defense did its job. It is the offense that dropped the ball. Or, as is the case with Detroit, threw it to the opposition.
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Chris Morgan has been a diehard Detroit Lions fan through the good (Barry Sanders) and the bad (Matt Millen) and that love has led him to take jobs writing about sports, including as a fantasy sports “expert.” His work can be found on Examiner.com. .