Every Monday during the regular season, the "Detroit Lions' Scorecard" will take a closer look at the on field performance of an important positional group and rank their performance during the prior game.
Entering the 2013 season, arguably, the Detroit Lions needed to improve the secondary the most out of any position on the field. After resigning Chris Houston and Louis Delmas and inking important newcomer Glover Quin to a contract, stability seems to be the word of the day.
Against the New York Jets on Friday night, despite a few injuries to rotational cornerbacks like Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood, starters not playing much of a role and passing statistics which totaled 292 yards for the opposition, the Lions' defensive backs managed to fare quite well. The drop off this week is severe between the top two and the bottom two, however, which isn't a surprise given this was the first game of the preseason.
As a whole, the group earns a C+ for their efforts against the Jets.
1. Glover Quin, S, A+. Just about the only thing which would limit Quin's ranking would be his dropped interception a series after Ziggy Ansah scored to give Detroit the lead. By holding onto that tipped ball, Quin could have changed plenty of headlines about Mark Sanchez. Still, Quin performed well in adjusting to his new role on the field. He wasn't out there long, but by quickly putting himself in the right place at the right time, Quin proved that he could be a game changer for the Lions in 2013.
2. Don Carey, S, B+. Carey struggled in coverage a few times, but nobody is expecting him to start, barring another rash of horrible injuries. His best play came when he shot a gap on a blitz and stuffed Bilal Powell for a massive tackle for loss in the backfield. Overall, Carey looked quick and can be a solid stop gap defensive back if starters need a blow or injuries become a problem. The Lions probably can't afford to have Carey on the field for too long, though, as he's proved in the past.
3. Domonique Johnson, CB, D+. Johnson has been a gambler in camp, often trying for the big play and getting burned but remaining solid in coverage at times. That showed again in Friday's exhibition opener, as Johnson looked to play both terrible and good all at once, getting burned, taking a penalty and also making a few solid plays. He did lead the team in tackling, which counts for something considering the Lions' back end has been terrible wrapping the opposition up lately.
4. Tyrell Johnson, S, D-. Johnson, fighting for a backup spot, played decently, but did make a critical late hit penalty in the fourth quarter, something the Lions are trying to avoid in 2013, especially after being labeled one of the dirtiest teams in the NFL the past few years. With steady veterans like Chris Hope in the fold, that's not something which will endear Johnson to his new coaching staff or help him make a roster.
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