The Detroit Lions lost to the Minnesota Vikings in week 14 and it was a rather uneventful game. With nothing left to play for in terms of postseason hopes, there is still individual pride and future contracts on the line for the players. Here are a few Lions who impressed and a few who did not.
5 Who Impressed:
1. S Tracy Walker
Walker played lights-out on Sunday and led the whole team in tackles with 13 of them. There were at least three plays where his teammates in front of him failed to bring down the ball carrier and Walker came over and finished the play. When healthy. I think it may be safe to say Walker is the best defensive back on the team — yes, that includes Slay.
2. WR Kenny Golladay
Golladay stood out on offense when not too much else was going the Lions way. He led the team with six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Golladay got over 1,000 yards on the year and a league-leading 10 touchdowns. The third-year wideout continues to improve every season and is starting to be mentioned as one of the better receivers in the NFL.
3. S Tavon Wilson
Wilson was second on the team with 11 tackles and had an overall solid day. The fans may remember him being hurdled and ultimately missing the tackle, but I refuse to ignore 60 minutes of play because of one poor play.
4. RB Bo Scarbrough
Scarbrough led the way with 19 rushing attempts and 65 yards. What is significant about his 19 attempts, is the fact Kerryon only had more than 18 carries three times in his career — Scarbrough has done that in the past three consecutive games. The Lions are getting a great look at him while other teams don’t have to respect the pass. Opponents can stack the box to stop the run. No one is dropping extra players back deep because of Blough or Driskel’s arm and Scarbrough is looking nice while having the odds against him.
5. P Sam Martin
Martin had seven punts for 347 yards and pinned the Vikings back deep three times. Odd to have a punter on here, but in a game that did not have much offense, Martin’s punting kept the Vikings with a long field to deal with.
5 Who Did Not:
1. TE Jesse James
James has been an overall underperformer this season. Earlier, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt and thinking he needs to learn the system, or it’s because Hockenson was in front of him, etc. He just is not getting it done in any facet of the game this year. I don’t expect him to do well blocking a defensive end one-on-one, but he was assigned to do it and it ended in a quarterback sack on third down.
2. LB Jahlani Tavai
Tavai has had some ups and downs this year and Sunday was no different. Tavai ends up on this list for two reasons. One, he had an absolutely avoidable 15-yard penalty for leading with his head. Secondly, his pass defense this past Sunday was laughable. He scored a PFF grade of 30.0 while in coverage.
3. CB Amani Oruwariye
Where to begin with the rookie corner from Penn State? He has shown flashes at times which, of course, you want to see. Then, there are times where other teams just target him in the red zone knowing he won’t make the play. On Sunday, he allowed a touchdown in the red zone and his man was able to get open by a pretty wide margin.
4. QB David Blough
Blough has had two starts, one Jekyll and one Hyde. Against the Vikings, Blough had two interceptions as well as a handful of missed targets. In addition to these miscues, he also did not show good pocket awareness and took a couple of sacks that were not the O-lines fault.
5. CB Darius Slay
Slay got beat time and time again by Diggs. Diggs had his way with Slay whenever he felt like it and Slay had no answer for him. Giving up six catches for 92 yards and some key big plays late in the game.Follow here: