NFL News & Analysis

PHI-DET grades: Slay, secondary seal Lions win

Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) lines up against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in Detroit. The Lions won the game 45-14. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Lions 24, Eagles 23

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Lions 24-23 victory over the Eagles.

Detroit Lions

Stafford bailed out by late turnovers

Quarterback grade: Matthew Stafford, 70.7

Coming out hot, Stafford looked like he was going to have his way with the Eagles defense. But he couldn’t maintain it as the Lions went conservative, attempting no passes further than 20 yards down field compared to six behind the line of scrimmage. It’s telling that 77.8 percent of the Lions receiving yards came after the catch.

Top offensive grades

C Travis Swanson, 85.0
WR Marvin Jones, 77.4
WR Anquan Boldin, 71.7
QB Matthew Stafford, 70.7
HB Theo Riddick, 68.6

Swanson has had a couple of tough years in the league but there’s been a marked improvement in his play in 2016. Today was him at his best as he showed a consistent ability to reach and lock on his block even when giving up a sizeable shade. The rest of the line? Well, Taylor Decker has a quiet day for the most part which is rarely a bad thing at left tackle, but the right side really struggled with the stunts and one-on-one matchups that saw Brandon Graham opposite them.

Top defensive grades

CB Nevin Lawson, 87.4
LB Tahir Whitehead, 85.0
S Tavon Wilson, 83.2
S Glover Quin, 82.8
LB Kyle Van Noy, 82.0

What does it say when the game-ball winner Darius Slay (79.1) can’t even crack the top five? Admittedly, it says that the game was about more than two plays. Before his forced fumble and game-sealing pick, he’d had a poor game by his standards, missing a tackle, being involved in a touchdown and allowing 49 yards into his coverage. Still, great players come up when it matters most to seal a win, and Slay did just that as he cemented a win that can be attributed to impressive play in the secondary. He wasn’t the best player in the game, but he still earns himself the game ball.

Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz shows poise, but comes up short

Quarterback grade: Carson Wentz, 79.7

The most remarkable thing about Wentz is despite his experience, you’d never think him a rookie based purely on the throws and decisions he makes. That’s not to say he’s perfect — and while his late heave was an unnecessary gamble with the team needing just a field goal, he did have throw two other balls that could have been picked off. But the poise he continues to show is reminiscent of far more experienced quarterbacks as he has the wits to buy time without being overly panicked into trying to use his impressive wheels.

Top offensive grades

QB Carson Wentz, 79.7
RG Brandon Brooks, 79.4
LT Jason Peters, 78.3
C Jason Kelce, 76.2
RT Lane Johnson, 72.2

The grades indicate that neither the receivers nor runners did an awful lot to make a difference, outside of course the costly late fumble by Ryan Mathews. With the Lions invested in slowing down the screen game, it became a battle between receivers and defensive backs, and while there were wins for the offense, not enough to take advantage of the Lions' second-half struggles.

Top defensive grades

LB Nigel Bradham, 86.8
DLE Brandon Graham, 85.6
DT Fletcher Cox, 78.8
CB Leodis McKelvin, 78.6
DE Vinny Curry, 76.1

It was another dominant display by the underrated Graham who was simply too powerful for right tackle Riley Reiff. Time and again he got into his pads and drove him back, and while he will be disappointed he didn’t convert any of his sick pressures to sacks, he can be happy with the impact he had. Elsewhere Bradham led the team with four defensive stops to continue his strong start to the year.

PFF game-ball winner: Darius Slay

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

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