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.
Considering the Detroit Lions were without Calvin Johnson for only the fifth time in his professional career, it stands to reason that their offense struggled mightily and failed to move the ball against the Green Bay Packers on the road.
Still, though, the Lions had the opportunity to do more, given they were never out of the game thanks to a solid defensive effort. The offensive line didn't protect well, but Matthew Stafford didn't throw well when given time, either, and his receivers had their share of drops and poor plays in the passing game.
Some would argue it's unfair to grade the other Lions offensive players with the knowledge that Johnson was gone, but just the opposite is true. Everyone else had a chance to be the difference maker, and nobody could get the job done to pick up the slack in the absence of an all-pro talent. From that perspective, there's plenty of low grades Monday morning for the difference makers.
The offense itself earns a D+ for Sunday's rough, across the board performance.
1. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, B+. Shockingly, Pettigrew had his best day catching the ball in a game where literally everything else was going wrong for the Lions. Pettigrew caught four passes for 59 yards, made an incredible hurdle on the field and looked like a difference maker. On a bad day, Pettigrew's second straight solid performance in a row was a bright spot. Detroit could use Pettigrew to return to form as a difference maker at the tight end spot.
2. Tony Scheffler, TE, C. Statistically, Scheffler had a solid game, grabbing four passes for 55 yards, but he was targeted seven times. That means drops, once again, played a role for Scheffler. That was particularly the case with the Lions driving in the fourth quarter and trying to convert. It's hard to flunk Scheffler given the fact that he made some plays when nobody else did, but consistency with the hands will be his biggest issue going forward. If there's no improvement soon, it might be time to go with rookie Joseph Fauria.
3. Reggie Bush, RB, D+. Outside of a trick play which got him loose for an extended gain, Bush did next to nothing on Sunday. Without Johnson in the lineup, the Packers simply stacked the box and took away Bush with the knowledge that Detroit's offensive line wasn't playing well, either. He was also unable to get going in the passing game, but frustratingly, Bush dropped the ball a few times out of the backfield as well. Clearly, Bush needs help everywhere else to be successful, which is understandable. A few big plays could have helped, though.
4. Patrick Edwards, WR, D. Edwards didn't do much again, but he did make the one play people will remember for all the wrong reasons. With the Lions trying to drive for a score, Stafford threw a ball up in the end zone, and Edwards failed to make a play, getting the ball knocked away. The young wide receiver has to be more aggressive and assertive on his routes, and might be playing his way away from targets. This was the day for Edwards, and to a lesser extent Ryan Broyles, to show up and prove they can play. Neither did.
5. Matthew Stafford, QB, D-. Stafford gets as close to a failing grade as can be given for his performance on Sunday. It's one thing to be dependent on Johnson, but it's another thing to be unable to make things happen with the players you have. His offensive line didn't help his case nor did plenty of drops, but somehow, Stafford has to be counted on to get the job done if his top targets aren't available. If he wants to be considered elite, Stafford must also find a way to win games in which he is shorthanded. Fortunately for him, Johnson isn't a player who misses much time. If that was the case, there would probably be a markedly different opinion about Detroit's signal caller.
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