Lions Week 2 Grades: Defense Continues to Hold Team Back

Alex Anzalone

Getty Alex Anzalone gets run over by Robert Tonyan of the Packers for a touchdown.

The Detroit Lions got off to a much better start in Week 2 of the NFL season than Week 1, but instead found their struggles through the second half of the game.

By the end, the result was the same, and it meant defeat for the Lions, who fell to 0-2 on the young season after the 35-17 loss. Even in spite of that rough news, though, there was better news for the Lions, who managed to find a few key plays enough to improve a bit on the grade sheet.

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How do the grades look for this week? Here’s a look at the full grades against the Green Bay Packers.


Grading Lions’ Offense vs. Packers

B-

The Lions didn’t have a bad approach most of the night, and blocked well up front to save time for Jared Goff as well as clear space for the running game. Detroit went toe to toe with the Packers in the first half of the game, and hit some big passes in the red zone. The Lions managed to go for 349 yards in the game which was a respectable total, but wilted in the second half with no big plays like they had hit in the first half. The Lions are going to have to find a way to sustain some drives, but all told, Goff played well outside of a few mishaps. The Lions need to tighten the screws in some areas but for the most part, their offense was able to do a good enough job to win in this game provided a few better plays here and there.


Grading Lions’ Defense vs. Packers

D-

Once again, the Lions defense isn’t meeting the needs of the team. The Lions didn’t get meaningful stops at all on Monday night, and were pushed around in the trenches. The team’s linebackers were exposed in a major way, and the lack of a pass rush continues to be a glaring problem for the team. In the backfield, the Lions allowed far too many completed passes, and are obviously a team that is hurting right now in terms of health. Still, they’re not getting the job done nearly well enough to be considered a threat to stay in games. Dan Campbell may disagree, but the Lions defense has been a major problem for the team so far this season and were again on Monday. The team had no answers for Aaron Rodgers, few for Davante Adams and even less for Aaron Jones. Simply put, this isn’t good enough and the team has to find improvements.


Grading Lions’ Special Teams vs. Packers

A-

No trouble for the Detroit special teams on this night, as kicker Austin Seibert made a 43 yard field goal and punter Jack Fox was solid again, booming a pair of punts inside the 20 yard line. The Lions also got a nice lift from Godwin Igwebuike, who was solid as a return man on the field and sprung a couple of nice returns to help jump-start the offense. Detroit’s special teams group wasn’t the reason the team lost whatsoever, and managed to be a reason the team stayed in the game in a major way on the field.


Grading Lions’ Coaches vs. Packers

B+

Tough to blame the Lions’ coaches for a lack of execution and a few critical mistakes. For the most part, the game plan was good save for a few questionable defensive breakdowns on the field from Aaron Glenn’s group. The Lions’ staff seems to be preparing the team well enough for games, but the team might lack the talent to put away wins right now. That is hardly the fault of the coaches, who seem to have done a nice job so far preparing the team to play in the firs few weeks of the season.

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