Detroit Lions' 2020 Grades: Offense

Read more on the Lions' season-ending offensive grades

The Lions' 2020 season has finally come to an end, and boy were the results less than desirable. 

The team finished a disappointing 5-11, with its defense putting up franchise-worst marks in both total points and total yards allowed for a single season. 

Yet, the offense showed some glimmers of hope, with Matthew Stafford under center for the entirety of the season. 

Without further ado, here are the grades for Stafford and the team's entire offense in 2020.

Quarterbacks: B-

After battling injury after injury in 2020, Stafford, in his 12th NFL season, managed to put together a pretty solid stat line. 

He played in all 16 games, and finished with 26 touchdown passes, just 10 interceptions and 4,084 yards. 

He also recorded the second-best QBR (68.8) of his career. 

Additionally, he finished with a Pro Football Focus grade of 82.0 overall -- 12th-best among all quarterbacks. 

Once Matt Patricia was fired (which came after the Lions' Week 12 loss to the Houston Texans), Stafford's play improved, too. 

From Weeks 13-17 with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell serving as the interim head man, Stafford produced a 91.8 grade, according to PFF -- the third-highest mark among QBs in that span.

Sure, he still had his fair share of "dud" games, such as in Week 9 against the Minnesota Vikings when he threw two picks and recorded a 73.8 passer rating and in Week 11 against the Carolina Panthers when he completed just 55 percent of his passes and threw for a lowly 178 yards and zero TDs. 

However, when considering the fact that he played through a broken thumb on his throwing hand (including against the Panthers), a rib cartilage injury and an ankle ailment, you can't be anything but impressed with his overall level of productivity in 2020. 

Meanwhile, veteran backup Chase Daniel played in parts of four games, and amassed just a single touchdown and two interceptions on 43 pass attempts. His season-ending passer rating and QBR marks were a disappointing 72.2 and 20.6, respectively. 

Third-stringer David Blough also suited up for a lone contest (in Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and completed 6-of-10 pass attempts for 49 yards, an interception and a dismal 32.9 passer rating. 

The performances of Daniel and Blough bring down the overall mark of the quarterbacks a bit, leading to the grade above. 


Running backs: C- 

Detroit struggled all season long rushing the football, accumulating just 1,499 yards on the ground -- the third-fewest amount in the league. 

Veteran Adrian Peterson led all Detroit running backs with 604 rushing yards, while rookie D'Andre Swift finished with a team-high eight rushing touchdowns, to go along with two receiving TDs. 

Of the Lions backs with 50 or more rush attempts in 2020 (Kerryon Johnson, Peterson and Swift), Swift produced the best yards-per-carry average of the bunch. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry in 13 games. 

However, all three of the backs failed to rush for more than 40.1 yards per game -- Swift with the highest amount. 

Swift did record a memorable performance in Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, when he rushed for 116 yards and two scores. 

However, as a whole, the backs were largely mediocre, leading to the above grade for the position group. 

Wide receivers/tight ends: B 

Disappointingly, the team's No. 1 wideout Kenny Golladay was only able to play in five games in perhaps his last season with the Lions, due to hamstring and hip ailments. 

The fourth-year receiver finished with a career-low 338 yards and two touchdowns. 

His absence, however, allowed Marvin Jones Jr. and T.J. Hockenson to become bigger focal points in the passing game, and both of them more than took advantage of the opportunity. 

In a contract season, Jones, who's been with the organization since 2016, produced three 100-plus-yard receiving games, including going for 180 yards and two scores in the team's season finale against the Vikings. 

He finished the 2020 campaign with a career-high 76 receptions, 978 yards and nine TDs. 

Meanwhile, Hockenson, in his second year in the league, produced career-high marks in receptions (67), receiving yards (723) and TDs (six), en route to his first Pro Bowl selection. 

Jones and Hockenson finished No. 1 and 2, respectively, in receiving yards on the team. Meanwhile, veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola finished third in receiving yards, with 602 on the season. 

As a whole, the receivers group largely stepped up in the absence of Golladay, and did a solid job. 

And for that, the group receives a positive mark above. 

Offensive line: B 

Outside of Halapoulivaati Vaitai being one of the biggest free-agent signing busts of the Bob Quinn era, the line was one of Detroit's most consistently productive position groups in 2020. 

Center Frank Ragnow became a Pro Bowler for the first time, while Taylor Decker and Jonah Jackson, just like Ragnow, look like cornerstones of the O-line for years to come. 

This position group, with a slight tweak or two on the right side, has all the makings of one that will be productive in 2021 and beyond.

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