Lions Grades vs. Rams: Special Teams Delivers Perfect Performance

Tracy Walker

Getty Tracy Walker celebrates an onside kick against the Rams in 2021.

The Detroit Lions lost another game in Week 7, but in the end, things weren’t that terrible on the field for the team whatsoever in spite of the 28-19 loss.

Detroit wasn’t able to put away the victory, but they played inspired football and managed to hang around most of the afternoon against a team that should have blown them away easily. To that end, it’s impossible not to grade the Lions fairly this week for what they showed on the field.

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How should the team be graded for this week? Here’s a look at some of the marks the team has earned in yet another defeat.

Lions’ Offense Grade vs. Rams


There are still far too many communication errors for the Lions to have a higher grade, but the team gets better marks this week because they managed to put up over 400 yards of offense against a decent Los Angeles defense. Even so, the Lions need to find a way to get into the end zone more than once in a while. A few more scores and Detroit could have made it tough on the Rams to come back in the second half. The team has witnessed the emergence of wideout Kalif Raymond as well as running back D’Andre Swift, which is huge for their chances moving forward. Jared Goff is struggling with key mistakes as he did in this game firing a fourth quarter interception, but if the Lions can find a way to put a few more touchdowns on the board next week, they could be in much better shape.

Lions’ Defense Grade vs. Rams


Detroit’s defense made a few big plays on the afternoon. Quite possibly the biggest was getting off the field on fourth down against Los Angeles in the second half. Overall, the team had a decent game plan on the day, and they did well to keep the Rams under 400 yards on that side of the football all things considered. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp got theirs as expected, but other weapons didn’t hurt the team. All things considered, the Lions have done a nice job to scheme on defense and find a way to stay in games, especially with as injury-riddled as their back end has been. The Lions saw Julian Okwara make a major name for himself in this game, which is the good news. The Lions still allow too many big plays, but most weeks, they hang in there just like they did in Week 7.

Lions’ Special Teams Grade vs. Rams


For three reasons, the Lions had a completely flawless day on special teams. It’s tough to execute a perfect onside kick in the NFL, but Detroit pulled it off, getting the bounce and catching Los Angeles off guard.

Perhaps harder than that, though, is executing a fake punt on the very next series and pulling it off. The Detroit group managed to do that, as well.

Later on, the Lions pulled off yet another fake punt to help change field position and give their side a boost.

All of this proved how much coaching and studying had gone into the game, so when combined with a decent kicking day from Austin Seibert, it was enough to push the Lions to a perfect grade on the day for this game. Detroit quite simply earned this one start to finish.

Lions Coaching Staff Grade vs. Rams


Aside from a breakdown on a fourth down call, the Lions staff did what they had to do in a big game and pulled out all the stops. Dave Fipp, the team’s special teams coordinator, deserves some major love for what the Lions were able to do in the game. Dan Campbell deserves the same for having the guts to call a lot of the plays. Detroit’s coordinators were also solid on the day. It was a good performance from the team’s staff during a week that they badly needed it on the field. Give the staff credit for rallying the team amid an ugly blowout in Week 6 and nearly finding a way to pull a major upset.

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