This latest loss drops Detroit’s record to 3-9-1 and virtually ensures Detroit will have a very high draft pick when the season concludes in a few weeks. That’s a positive, but on a day when the Lions just never seemed to make any big plays, there were plenty of negatives.
How should the team get graded this week for their play on the field? Here’s a look at another week of grades on the ledger for the team.
Lions Offense Grade vs. Vikings
Perhaps it was unfair to think that David Blough would continue to tear it up as a backup quarterback. The Chicago Bears had little tape of Blough and it looked that way early on Thanksgiving. This week, it looked like just the opposite. A veteran coach in Mike Zimmer had time to prepare and the Detroit offense did nothing. Bo Scarbrough ran hard and Kenny Golladay delivered another touchdown in what has become an amazing breakout season. Other than that, the Lions were unimpressive again. It was to be expected given who they started at quarterback and the injury situation they faced, but still frustrating.
Lions Defense Grade vs. Vikings
It seems like this grade should be much lower based on the result, but it’s not always about the result in this business. Detroit’s defense, battling injury trouble, managed to do a much better job on the Vikings this time around and slow down a high powered passing and running attack. While Dalvin Cook scored, he didn’t go for over 100 yards on the ground, and Kirk Cousins was merely alright on the afternoon instead of the assassin he was in Detroit. The Lions defense played well enough to keep the team in the game where if the offense had scored a few more times, things may have been different. That was a dramatic change from what’s been going on most of this season, so this group does not fail this week.
Lions Special Teams Grade vs. Vikings
The Lions were dealt a blow before the game with news that Jamal Agnew wouldn’t play thanks to injury, but during the game, watched as Matt Prater missed a field goal that could have kept the Lions in the contest early. Those are the kind of misses that a team like Detroit just can’t have whatsoever, so it’s not a stretch to say that the Lions special teams helped them lose the game in a way. It’s not all Prater’s fault, of course, but special teams wasn’t a complete asset on the day for Detroit, which it needed to be in order to win.
Grading Lions Coaching vs. Vikings
Many might disagree, but it didn’t feel as if the Lions quit in this game. Their defense had a much better game plan this time around against a solid team and while they allowed some bigger plays, it was obvious the Lions didn’t quit. Whether that should mean anything for the future of the staff is anyone’s guess, but at the very least, the Lions are fighting to the finish. That should mean something in the grand scheme given that has not always been the case in lost seasons for the team. The offense struggled, but it didn’t appear as if the team was totally checked out. Like it or not, the staff deserves some credit for that fact.