Well, I don’t know about you, but I did not expect that kind of performance out of the Detroit Lions this past Sunday. After running Kerryon Johnson and allowing him to find a rhythm, the Lions run game was on a roll. Stafford was able to connect with Golladay a few times for some nice plays to move the offense through the air, but who else stood out in this game? Let’s take a look.
5 Who Impressed:
1. RB Kerryon Johnson
Johnson had a tremendous game with solid stats, even though he had to leave in the third quarter due to a knee injury. When Johnson was on the field, the Lions offense really takes shape. Johnson was on pace to have yet another 100-yard game before his exit.
This is a pretty good way to cure red zone woes: pic.twitter.com/fhzbQzFXjt
— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) November 18, 2018
2. LB Devon Kennard
Kennard continues to look like the best free agent pick-up the Lions made this offseason. Now totaling six sacks on the year, Kennard has a new career high with six games to go. Kennard has made a noticeable difference in the linebacking corps. Hopefully can show LB Jarrad Davis a thing or two. Maybe he already has as Davis also notched a sack on Newton.
3. WR Kenny Golladay
Golladay’s solid play began with his acrobatic, interception-saving catch in which he ripped the ball out of the hands of the Panthers cornerback. Golladay later added a magnificent backward diving touchdown grab in a key moment of the game. It does look like Golladay could work on his chemistry with Stafford though, as it appeared there were multiple miscommunications between the two.
What a grab 😯 @kgxix
— NFL (@NFL) November 18, 2018
Kenny Golladay has no time for your interception attempts. pic.twitter.com/F7BHJCAWiG
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 18, 2018
4. DE Ziggy Ansah
Ansah has been pretty solid in his limited snaps since coming back from injury. Although he is often hurt, he does make a noticeable difference both in the pass and running game. Ziggy has had consecutive sacks now in back-to-back games since his return.
5. S Tracey Walker III
Walker had his first career interception off the former MVP, Cam Newton. The rookie safety had a very solid game overall — posting Pro Football Focus’ highest defensive rating for anyone on the team. Between Walker playing very well and the lack of solid defensive back play, I believe Walker is about to see a significant boost in his playing time.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 18, 2018
5 Who Did Not:
1. CB Mike Ford
Ford reminded me a lot of fellow cornerback Nevin Lawson in this game. He was in position to make a play on a number of occasions and just failed to do so. Ford was on his guys hip and he could not make the tackle which resulted in an 82-yard pass play that was only saved by the speed of Darius Slay. Later on, Ford allowed another first down reception after another missed tackle. The undrafted free agent showed promise in his first start, but he has a long long way to go.
2. RB LeGarrette Blount
When the Lions first signed Blount in the off-season, I was ecstatic. I thought he was the missing link in the Lions run game and he would provide a big-back option to the speedster that we drafted in Kerryon Johnson. Blount has been maybe the single most disappointing player on this entire team. Blount had one yard on seven carries, averaging less than 0.2-yards per touch.
3. TE Levine Toilolo
The Lions tight end situation is bleak at best. Toilolo is known for being a blocking tight end, however, on one play, he got badly beat and Blount went down for a 4-yard loss. When you are a one-dimensional tight end, you have excel in that area.
4. CB Teez Tabor
Tabor continues to be far less than the player the Lions drafted him for. On Sunday, he allowed a game-leading touchdown in the 4th quarter — blowing the lead for his team. Once again, he barely saw the field but allowed a big play in just a handful of snaps. Tabor continues to not show any improvement or signs of hope for the future.
Newton to Samuel on the TD. Teez Tabor in coverage. Gano misses the extra point. 13-13. #CARvsDET
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) November 18, 2018
5. RT Rick Wagner
Wagner continues to have a down year after allowing yet another sack. What makes it worse was the timing. The sack he allowed came in the fourth quarter of a tie game. Wagner will face DE Khalil Mack on Thursday. If Wagner is not up for the task, it will be another long day for Stafford and the running backs.Follow here: