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.
In order to keep their playoff dreams alive, all the Detroit Lions had to do was beat the New York Giants. As it turns out, that would have been more than enough by night's end on Sunday. Instead, the Lions couldn't take care of their own business first.
The loss to New York came mostly due to a sputtering offense which couldn't apply the "kill shot" for the second week in a row, and arguably, a handful of times this season. There were big mistakes and no consistency. Thanks to that, the drop off is huge from top to bottom, and only one player passes the grade. In total, the team gets a D- for their miserable offensive (pun intended) effort.
1. Joique Bell, RB, B+. Bell did his job on Sunday, leading the Lions in both rushing and receiving. He ground out 91 yards on the ground with a touchdown and showed impressive burst all afternoon. Through the air, Bell was Matthew Stafford's safety net, and turned plenty of short plays into decent gains. Bell collected 10 receptions for 63 yards, telling fans all they needed to know about the mindset of Stafford, who was checking down at will. Bell had a strongest game, and gets the top spot.
2. Joseph Fauria, TE, D+. Though Fauria was the Lions' second leading wide receiver with three catches for 43 yards, he showed the ability to make a few plays. Fauria remains a great red zone threat, but has trouble in the open field, and whiffed on a pass that Stafford overthrew late leading to the Giants' defensive touchdown. Fauria has to get stronger in other spots of the field aside from the red zone.
3. Reggie Bush, RB, D. Bush was given a big contract over the offseason, and as such, his performance should have been much better, especially when the team needed a leader and a play maker in crunch time. Instead, Bush didn't get the job done. 44 all-purpose yards with a fumble isn't good enough in the biggest game of the season, and Bush's dejected face told the story by day's end.
4. Kris Durham, WR, D-. Durham, quite possibly, is the most undeserving wide receiver of targets on the roster at this point. He was targeted a stunning seven times and only made two catches for 14 yards, having several key drops along the way. Any NFL offense targeting a journeyman like Durham that much will be bound to fail, and Stafford should know better. Simply, Durham shouldn't be welcome back in 2014.
5. Matthew Stafford, QB, E. Where to begin? Stafford made the big errors on Sunday, sailing several throws including the eventual back-breaking interception late in the fourth quarter. Stafford didn't throw a touchdown, and was erratic again passing for only 222 yards on 25-42 passing. He hasn't improved all season, and Sunday's effort was perhaps his worst, considering the high stakes. A team's quarterback can't be their worst player, and the second half of the season, that's been the case far too often. Stafford fails the grade completely.
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