Grading the Lions in loss to Vikings
October 1, 2012
By Dave Birkett
Detroit Free Press Sports Writer
B-: Matthew Stafford had another 300-yard passing day, but this one was kind of hollow. His accuracy was a hair off on several completions, like the third-and-7 pass on Calvin Johnson's back hip that went for 6 yards, and when he was on target, his receivers couldn't hold on to the ball. Stafford completed 30 of 51 passes and scored the Lions' only touchdown on a 1-yard run, but the Lions are settling for field goals too often early in games.
C: Mikel Leshoure hardly looked like the same player who ran for 100 yards last week in his NFL debut. Lions coach Jim Schwartz did not think Leshoure's tender groin was an issue. Leshoure had 13 carries for 26 yards and a big fumble in Vikings territory. Joique Bell continues to play hard and produce in limited action. Bell had six catches for 72 yards, including a big 23-yard gain where he
spun off a few tackles on third-and-10.
Receivers & tight ends
C-: Drops continue to be an issue for tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who had two Sunday, including one on a sure touchdown late in the first half that forced the Lions to settle for a field goal. Titus Young dropped a third-down pass that would have kept a drive alive, and even Calvin Johnson had a down day. Johnson had five catches for 54 yards in 12 targets as defenses continue to limit his production with double and triple coverage early.
D: Here's Jim Schwartz's assessment: "We got our butts kicked up front. Sacked, couldn't run the ball. Again, physically we need to be able to do that better." The Lions allowed five sacks, averaged 2.8 yards a carry and had a costly miscommunication on a fourth-and-goal play that ended with Stafford getting pummeled by Everson Griffen. It started early, too. On the Lions' second possession, Jared Allen ran by Jeff Backus to stuff Leshoure for a 3-yard loss and Letroy Guion beat Stephen Peterman outside for a sack.
more: http://www.freep.com/article/20121001/S ... y=obinsite