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Lions' Week 3 Grades: Gut-Punch at Ford Field

Here are the Detroit Lions' Week 3 grades, after their 19-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 at Ford Field.

Detroit played it’s best game of the season in week three, yet it wasn’t enough. The Lions gave the Baltimore Ravens everything they could handle Sunday but ultimately lost when kicker Justin Tucker banked in an NFL-record 66-yard field goal to give his team a 19-17 victory.

Though the final moments of the game were riddled with controversy, the Lions did their fair share of shooting themselves in the foot. Mistakes cost Detroit its first win of the season, sending head coach Dan Campbell to 0-3 in his first year.

Here are positional grades from the Lions’ performance against the Ravens:

Quarterback: C+

It wasn’t a good start for quarterback Jared Goff, who was out of sync with his receivers early on. He threw behind Kalif Raymond on a key second down on a drive that would eventually stall out. He missed open receivers and couldn’t stretch the field.

In the second half, the former Los Angeles Ram found his groove. Though the lack of downfield passing was still there, Goff went 14-for-15 in the second half and put his team in a position to win the game.

Still, a better performance in the first half likely puts Detroit into the win column. Goff needs to put four quarters together to give the Lions a chance – and he didn’t do so today.

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Running backs: A-

D’Andre Swift was a focal point in the Lions’ game plan, this much was certain. The second-year Georgia product finished with 21 touches for 107 yards and a touchdown. Backup Jamal Williams also scored and was a solid second option.

The Lions’ running backs have been key in the passing game throughout the year. Sunday was no different, as Swift and Williams combined for nine catches and 85 yards. Swift had a highlight-reel hurdle and Williams finished his touchdown run with a strong second effort.

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Wide receivers/Tight ends: C

Kalif Raymond was a pleasant surprise for the Lions Sunday, collecting six catches for 68 yards. Outside of him, however, the Lions are still looking for production at the position. Tyrell Williams remains out and in concussion protocol, and the Lions just don’t have much proven talent out wide.

For the first time this season, TJ Hockenson was a non-factor. He caught just two passes for 10 yards. Quintez Cephus, someone who looked like a go-to target in the first two games, was also held in check.

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Offensive line: B

Another game, another solid performance from Detroit’s front five offensively. Yet, the unit struggled to handle some of the unique blitzes Baltimore threw at them.

The unit had some bumps and bruises, as center Frank Ragnow looked to be a bit shaken up. However, the group as a whole played well and helped the offensive move the ball in the second half.

Defensive line: B-

The Lions defense had its best performance of the season against the Ravens, and a big piece of that belongs to the defensive line. Nick Williams and company were able to get consistent pressure on dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens offense is built around the zone read scheme, and the Lions did a nice job combating that. However, late in the game they let Jackson slip away on what would’ve been a game-ending sack. The performance is a building block, but not good enough to win a game.

Linebackers: B

Much like the defensive line, the Lions linebackers did a good job against the Ravens series of zone read plays. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, in his first start of the season, made a nice play early on against Jackson to set the tone.

Without Jamie Collins, the youngsters had their moments. Derrick Barnes saw extended action for the first time in his career and finished with four tackles. There were still issues in coverage, but the future at the position is bright.

Secondary: C+

For the first time this season, the Lions intercepted a pass. Amani Oruwariye provided the spark, picking off Jackson with just over five minutes left in the game. The unit also dodged a fair amount of bullets, as Baltimore receiver Marquise Brown dropped three potential touchdown passes.

Bobby Price was competitive and played well in his first start at cornerback. However, there were lapses in coverage at times and one led to a touchdown on a third-and-18. Will Harris once again struggled in coverage from the safety position.

Special teams: B-

Jack Fox unleashed a 59-yard punt, finishing with an average of 45.5 yards on six attempts. However, he had one bad attempt that netted just 25 yards. Ryan Santoso made his only field goal attempt, a 35-yard boot that looked to give Detroit the win before the Ravens heroics.

A special teams penalty killed what could’ve been a game-changing break for the Lions. Undrafted rookie Jerry Jacobs ran out of bounds covering a punt, erasing a fumble recovery that would’ve given the Lions the ball deep in Baltimore territory.