Lions PFF grades from win over Cardinals raise some questions

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The Detroit Lions pulled off one of the bigger upsets in recent memory, dominating from start to finish against a potential playoff contender, the Arizona Cardinals. Detroit scored a 30-12 home victory. The Lions also found their way into NFL history, being the first team with one or fewer wins beat a team with 10 wins or more by double digits.

Throughout the season, the Lions have always been a tale of two halves. They’ve never put together a full game, either starting strong but faltering at the end or falling behind early and unable to dig themselves out of the hole. However, Sunday’s victory showed what happens when a team executes a perfect game plan from start to finish and plays spoilers at the end of the day.

With the Lions playing some of their best football as of late, fans and media have embraced the positivity and strangers, for that matter, while celebrating the turnaround the team has made. But, unfortunately, you get the few who are more worried about the draft slot than the culture made before our very eyes. Also, even though the Lions pulled off a decisive win, Pro Football Focus grades failed for the most part to reflect it.

Understandably, PFF reflects more on an individual level and not fully on a team performance base. That helps explain some of the confusion people might have had when checking out this week’s PFF grades against the Cardinals. However, it still has some questions around it.

Through offense and defense, the Lions mustered only two players, Craig Reynolds and Josh Reynold, to score above 80, and the highest-graded defender was Charles Harris, who scored 76.8. Also, there was a dramatic drop-off between the number three highest offensive player, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown with a 78.8 grade and the fourth, LT Taylor Decker, who scored a 64.0 grade.

The two lowest were no surprise, considering the eye test was not in favor of TE Brock Wright (40.9) and RB Godwin Igwebuike (40.6). They did not have their best games in an otherwise strong offensive performance.

Considering how well the offense was in tune, it would’ve been half-expected the Cardinals defenders would have middle-of-the-road to low grades. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Five Cardinal players nearly scored over 80 on defense, with two of them, OLB Markus Golden and DT Leki Fotu, almost eclipsing 90. On top of it, three offensive players came close to scoring an 80 as well.

I was a little confused by this week’s PFF grades, especially with how well a fair amount of Lions players played a strong game, but somehow the Cardinals have the higher of the grades out of the bunch. I get the individual aspect of it, but at the end of the day, the subjectiveness is head-scratching considering the players’ performance from both teams.

Either way, the Lions came out on top, which should excite most of the fanbase next week. The team put together a strong game plan and got strong performances from many of their players, making this win possible. All draft slots and PFF grades aside, this is a good week to be a Lions fan.