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Detroit Lions’ Scorecard: Breaking Down the Play of the Offense Against the Philadelphia Eagles

December 9th, 2013 at 9:10 AM
By Max DeMara

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 playing in nearly six inches of snow, it's tough to accurately or completely grade the offense's performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite that, the Lions didn't do much, putting up a woeful 228 total yards while fumbling a wet ball an unacceptable seven times.

'Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings 2012/09/30' photo (c) 2012, kdoebler@att.net - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

They won't be graded on a complete curve here thanks to the conditions, considering the Eagles were able to collect 476 yards of offense, run the ball flawlessly, pass when needed and only make one turnover themselves while limiting fumbles. The elements were just as bad for the Eagles, and their offense found a way to thrive. Detroit's didn't, which is why they earn a D- this week and fail the grade completely, led by their quarterback.

1. Joique Bell, RB, C. Bell was Detroit's entire offense on Sunday, collecting 69 yards on the ground and 58 in the air while scoring the team's lone offensive touchdown. Bell also fumbled the ball twice, hurting his grade, and failed to run as consistently as LeSean McCoy did. Credit Bell for being the only to show up and play, but more could have been done with regards to ball security and consistent running.

2. Calvin Johnson, WR, C-. Johnson had a nice deep catch early in the game and was targeted enough by Matthew Stafford to pass Herman Moore on the Lions' all-time receiving yards list. Still, it felt like more should have been done given Nick Foles found Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson for 74 and 59 yards for a score respectively. Johnson didn't take the game over, and wasn't really engaged. He remained enough of a threat to register on the score sheet and find a passing grade, but more was needed. 

3. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, D+. Pettigrew had a great 23 catch early in the game, but then disappeared completely until much later when a ball sailed out of his reach, was d and landed in the snow. The tight end should have been a bigger part of the game plan with a snowy field on Sunday, but the Lions didn't so much as look Pettigrew's way. That's not entirely his fault, but perhaps Pettigrew should have done more after the big catch to justify attention.

4. Nate Burleson, WR, D. Aside from a few catches, Burleson also had some nasty drops on Sunday over the middle of the field. The elements didn't necessarily favor Burleson's style, but he needed to be more of a play maker for Matthew Stafford not to mention a leader who would lead by example by making a few big plays. While Cooper and Jackson played off of each other's success, Burleson was unable to make things happen with Johnson.

5. Matthew Stafford, QB, E. It's hard to lay so much blame on the wide receivers when the man in charge of getting them the ball could barely keep it within his own hands. This was perhaps Stafford's most embarrassing game as Lions' quarterback, considering Nick Foles didn't have much trouble with snaps, keeping the ball in his hand or finding his offensive targets. Stafford was bad regardless of the elements, and that's the bottom line. The receivers dropped their share of passes, but the Lions' won't have a chance to win when Stafford is overthrowing receivers or fumbling the football all over the field. That's happening too much this season.

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

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Tags: Brandon Pettigrew, Calvin Johnson, Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Joique Bell, LeSean McCoy, Matthew Stafford, Nate Burleson, NFL, Nick Foles

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