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.
The Detroit Lions offense was good enough to put up 24 points against the Cincinnati Bengals' tough defense on Sunday, but when the team needed a score the most, they couldn't sustain a drive. Does that mean they deserve to get graded on a curve?
Not hardly. Cincinnati's defense was fighting off injury problems near the end of the day and all Detroit had to do was move the ball in position to give David Akers a crack at a winning field goal. At that moment, the offense came up lame, and the Bengals quickly benefited from a shanked punt to win the game.
This, combined with some rocky performances, help the Lions earn a C- for their efforts on Sunday. They were good enough to pass, but not quite good enough in the clutch to gain a high grade.
1. Calvin Johnson, WR, A+. A perfect day for Johnson, who was much more effective than last week and pulled in two incredible touchdown passes. It was refreshing to see Johnson dominate as much as he did just one week after looking severely limited. Johnson also didn't have his share of drops, and looked more confident running his usual routes. That was the best offensive sign from the loss, as Johnson looked much healthier overall.
2. Joique Bell, RB, B+. Very quietly, Bell was Detroit's most effective weapon out of the backfield yesterday, making several incredible catches as a receiver. Though he only had three catches for 29 yards and ran for 27, Bell was playing with heavy padding thanks to a rib injury. Credit him for playing extremely well under tough circumstances.
3. Kevin Ogletree, WR, B. A nice game for Ogletree, who had a few solid gains and big pass plays to help Detroit's offense move the ball. In only his third week with the team, Ogletree continues to learn the offense and can become an important player as the season goes along. Expect to see more solid games out of him in the future,
4. Matthew Stafford QB, C. The Bengals had not allowed a 300 yard passer in quite some time, but Stafford shredded them with Johnson, Kevin Ogletree, Kris Durham and at times, Reggie Bush to the tune of 357 yards. However, despite his solid play, Stafford made his share of bad decisions under duress throwing into tough coverage, throwing the ball away, and making erratic passes. His performance on the game's final drive killed any shot at goodwill
5. Reggie Bush, RB, D+. Not the best day for Bush, who couldn't get anything going against the Bengals' tough defensive front. Worse yet, Bush's day as a receiver was limited as well, as he made one impressive catch and run for 27 yards, but found nothing after that. Detroit could have won with Bush making a solid secondary impact other than Johnson, but did not get a touchdown or impact play from him most of the game.
6. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, D-. Pettigrew made a nice touchdown catch early in the game, but his performance will be better remembered for a senseless offensive pass interference penalty sustained late in the fourth quarter which helped stall a very important drive. With Joseph Fauria not doing much, Pettigrew was needed and couldn't deliver important plays to help Stafford out. For that, and his silly penalty, he fails.
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