Detroit Lions Week 4 report card: Offensive outburst cannot mask defensive woes

SideLion Report

The Detroit Lions’ offense furiously tried to bring the team back against the Seattle Seahawks, but they could not overcome a pitiful defensive effort. 

Coming into this game, the Detroit Lions were missing several key weapons on offense. No D’Andre Swift, no Amon-Ra St. Brown and no DJ Chark, on top of the injuries already sustained to both starting guards. Yet, it was the Lions’ defense that ended up looking lost and searching for answers most of the game.

The game as a whole was a chaotic mess, as neither team had answers defensively. The second half is was especially so, as every time the Lions would bring the game back within a score, Seattle would answer and push the game back out of reach.

The push-and-pull nature of this game ended up being a weird combination of infuriating and exciting, depending on which team had possession.

So without further ado, let’s get into report cards for the Lions’ Week 4 loss.

Detroit Lions Week 4 Report Card: Lions’ defense was truly offensive

Run offense: 3/5 stars 

The box score stats look somewhat encouraging, as Detroit finished the day with 25 attempts for 145 yards (5.8 yards per carry).

The ground game was led by Jamaal Williams, who scored multiple rushing touchdowns yet again, highlighted by this 51-yard run.

However, for as great as that run was, it propped up the overall yards per carry average a lot. Taking that one run away, Detroit had 24 other attempts for just 94 yards–a much more pedestrian average of 3.9 yards per carry.

Overall the ground game was adequate, but the box score is a little deceiving.

Pass offense: 4/5 stars

Detroit put up its highest point total since Week 12 of the 2015 season on Sunday. To have accomplished that, despite the injuries they were dealing with, is impressive. It is also a feat that would not have been accomplished without Jared Goff. For a majority of the game, Goff once again looked very comfortable in the pocket, avoiding pressure and stepping up to hit throws into tight windows.

There was only one negative, a pick-six to open the second half to push Seattle’s lead to 16. It was a deficit the Lions failed to overcome. The throw was simply inexcusable, as Goff threw a wobbly pass toward T.J. Hockenson with a defender rapidly closing on him. Mistakes like that simply cannot happen. However, while it’s easy to point to that play as the difference in this game, due  to a three-point loss, there were plenty of other factors.

Goff, aside from that one brutal mistake, had a nice outung. An injury-thinned group of wide receivers did better than could have been expected, with Josh Reynolds as the proverbial No. 1 guy (seven catches for 81 yards and a touchdown).

Best offensive player: TE T.J. Hockenson

With so many key contributors out, someone needed to step up. Hockenson not only answered the bell, but he also elevated his play to a level he hadn’t shown before.

He finished the game hauling in eight of 12 targets for a career-high 179 yards with two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. It was just the second time in his career that Hockenson has eclipsed 100 receiving yards, with the first instance being his NFL debut.

Hockenson was doing a phenomenal job as a receiver, finding soft spots in coverage, stretching out to make difficult catches and picking up yards after the catch. It was a special game for the fourth-year tight end.

Worst offensive player: WR Kalif Raymond

On a day where the Lions had to use more depth pieces, Raymond was given opportunities both as a rusher and a receiver. Unfortunately, on one of his few touches in this game, Raymond put the ball on the ground.

Those types of mistakes contribute to losses in one-score games. Like the Goff pick-six, this one play wasn’t a catalyst for the loss. But it certainly didn’t help, and it also won’t help Raymond earn more playing time going forward.

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