Lions vs. Rams: Best and worst PFF grades from Week 7

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Amongst their luggage, the Detroit Lions brought their bag of tricks against the Los Angeles Rams. It wasn’t enough to overcome the high-powered Rams as the Lions lost their seventh straight this season to a 28-19 defeat.

The majority of the populous did not give the Lions a shot at even competing with a potential Super Bowl contender, figuring they would get embarrassed out of Los Angeles. However, with two fake punts and a successful onside kick, the Lions were able to steal processions away and gave them a shot at potentially stealing this game away from the Rams. Unfortunately, the Lions were not able to capitalize on those efforts due to untimely mistakes but let me tell you, that is probably the most entertaining Lions game in quite some time.

Considering how often the Lions have been set as major underdogs this season, they have held tight against tough teams, giving some hope that the Lions are heading in the right direction. You can see the improvements the players are making and the coaching staff taking each loss as a lesson learned and applying for future matchups.

With this week’s top PFF performers, who can see the massive steps forward taken amongst the player, the bottom players are trying to find their footing.

Top Offensive Players

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

1. LT Penei Sewell- 81.1

2. LG Jonah Jackson- 78.8

3. RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai- 75.8

4. WR Kalif Raymond- 75.1

5. C Evan Brown- 73.6

Talking about a player taking the necessary steps forward, Sewell has found himself the top offensive player in consecutive weeks while showing off his elite run blocking. Jackson, Sewell’s partner in crime, found himself on the wrong end of pass protection, giving up three pressures, but landed as the 3rd-best run blocker in the league this week.

Vaitai did have a couple of penalties, but he was able to redeem himself with quality run blocking. Raymond had a career game with six catches for 115 yards while averaging nearly 20 yards per catch and providing a hand in the blocking game. The left side of the offensive line had themselves a game with Evan Brown finding his way on this list with quite an impressive pass protecting performance while going up against Aaron Donald.

Worst Offensive Players

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

1. TE Brock Wright- 43.9

2. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown- 48.1

3. WR Geronimo Allison- 51.8

4. TE Darren Fells- 55.6

5. RT Matt Nelson- 56.1

Wright was elevated from the practice squad, substituting Jason Cabinda, who was dealing with an injury this week. All things considered performed admirably, with his biggest contributions coming in pass protection, where he was the highest-ranked tight end this week in that category. St. Brown and Allison played very quiet games as St. Brown did not see a single target, whereas Allison only had two targets in his direction, and he didn’t catch either one.

Fells did what he does best: blocking, especially since most of his snaps came during running plays while only catching his only target for six yards. Nelson gave up two pressures this week, but all things considering he fared well against a stout Rams defense.

Top Defensive Players

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

1. LB Alex Anzalone- 77.0

2. EDGE Julian Okwara- 71.8

3. CB Amani Oruwariye- 69.1

4. DT Nick Williams- 64.7

5. CB AJ Parker- 63.2

5. S Tracy Walker- 63.2

The expression “addition by subtraction” has never been proven more right in the case of Anzalone. After the Lions released Jamie Collins, Anzalone became the heartbeat of the Lions defense and, according to coach Dan Campbell, playing the best football of his career in every facet of the imagination.

Okwara has been steadily receiving more reps, and he is proving to everyone he belongs on the field, tallying his second sack of the season while providing a strong presence in run defense. Oruwariye held the Rams receivers in check most of the day, only yielding 15 yards on three catches, but unfortunately, one of them was a Cooper Kupp touchdown.

Williams has been a steady contributor along the defensive line, shutting down the Rams rushing attack, only giving up 47 total rushing yards on 2.5 yards per attempt. Parker did a rough go in the game, and he did miss two tackles. Still, he has been consistently one of the Lions’ best defenders. Regrettably, he looks to be out for a good amount of time, suffering an injury this week, and nothing but the best wishes and speedy recovery for him. Walker has taken a massive step forward this year, continuing his dominance as one of the better safeties in the league and providing a nice security blanket for young secondary.

Worst Defensive Players

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

1. CB Daryl Worley- 26.1

2. EDGE Austin Bryant- 42.9

3. EDGE Trey Flowers- 51.0

4. DT Alim McNeill- 51.7

5. S Will Harris- 54.1

Matthew Stafford smelled blood in the water when Worley replaced Parker when he left with his injury and took advantage of him right from the get-go yielding a Cooper Kupp touchdown. Even though he was only credited with allowing two catches, he was a significant downgrade to what the Lions have gotten out of Parker. Bryant only saw 12 snaps this week while tallying nothing in the box score, whereas Flowers landed two tackles, both of which landed as failures to the offense while dealing a knee injury.

McNeill had a quiet day not recording a tackle, but his presence cannot be measured from a score sheet standpoint as he provides pressure, especially with the shut down of the run game. Harris continues to find himself amongst the bottom performers due to his poor angles and soft coverage, but he did have four tackles and only gave up 26 yards on three catches.

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