Lions' Week 15 Offensive Grades: Stafford Earns Respect of Teammates

Read more on the Lions' offensive grades after their Week 15 contest with the Tennessee Titans
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Detroit's defense failed the team once again in its 46-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 15. 

Matthew Stafford and the Lions' offensive attack were left to clean up the mess, and despite a valiant try, were simply unable to make up for the myriad of defensive deficiencies. 

Here are the grades for Stafford and the team's entire offense after their loss Sunday in Tennessee.

Quarterbacks: A- 

The 12th-year passer toughened it out, and played through a rib cartilage injury that he suffered in the fourth quarter of last week's defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

Remember, he also broke the thumb on his throwing hand earlier this season.

Despite all of that, he completed nearly 70 percent of his passes (68.8), and threw for 252 yards and a touchdown.

It earned him a game-ending passer rating of 102.6.

The game had gotten out of reach by the fourth quarter, and Lions interim head man Darrell Bevell proceeded to pull him in favor of veteran backup quarterback Chase Daniel.

On his first series, Daniel led Detroit on a scoring drive, which ended up being the team's last one of the contest.

Before he exited, Stafford did all that he could to give his team a chance to pull off the upset win, in spite of the horrendous performance put together by Cory Undlin's defense.

It was a valiant effort put forth by No. 9 in the face of adversity, and it's something that a lot of other NFL quarterbacks would have not only been unable to accomplish but also would have not even attempted to do.

There's no questioning the fact that he and Daniel -- even in the loss and primarily because of Stafford's play -- earned the grade above.

Running backs: B- 

By no means did this position group match the production of Titans superstar running back Derrick Henry (24 carries for 147 yards and a TD) on Sunday. 

But, it did have a decent day, largely because of the performance of rookie running back D'Andre Swift.

Swift, who did record a fumble on a goal-line carry while leaping for the end zone in the second quarter, received the second start of his NFL career in Detroit's Week 15 tilt in Tennessee. 

Outside of the fumble, he responded with a solid performance, carrying the rock 15 times for 67 yards and two scores -- the first of which came on the possession immediately after his lone turnover.

He finished with a yards-per-carry average of 4.5 yards.

Meanwhile, Kerryon Johnson failed to log a single rushing attempt, and Adrian Peterson recorded six carries for 23 yards.

The Lions' top two backs in Swift and A.P. combined for an average of 4.3 yards per carry (21 carries for 90 yards) on the afternoon.

Not a Henry-esque performance by any stretch of the imagination. But, still not too shabby of a week from Detroit's backs.

Swift runs for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. 

Swift runs for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. 

Wide receivers/tight ends: B 

On Sunday, Marvin Jones Jr. recorded his second game in three weeks in which he's caught eight or more balls, gone for over 100 receiving yards and hauled in a TD catch. He led all Lions receivers with 10 catches for 112 yards. 

It was also good to see rookies Hunter Bryant and Quintez Cephus each haul in a nice pass from Stafford.

Bevell & Co. also did a good job of making Marvin Hall's replacement Mohamed Sanu an active member of the passing game. Sanu finished with four catches for 38 yards.

The only negative for the pass-catchers was T.J. Hockenson's lack of involvement. 

He dropped a pass with defenders draped all over him in the first half, and also lost a fumble while extending for a first down early in the third quarter. 

He amassed just two catches for 18 yards on the afternoon.

All in all, though, it was a positive day for the position group.

Offensive line: B 

Lions' group of offensive linemen didn't allow a single sack, and helped the team's ground attack, as a whole (with runs from Stafford, Daniel and Jamal Agnew factored into the total), gain 4.6 yards per carry on Sunday.

This was the case even with Joe Dahl starting in place of the injured Frank Ragnow (fractured throat) at center. 

The only negatives were Dahl missing a block on Swift's goal-line fumble and a false start penalty committed by Matt Nelson, who lined up at right tackle in the second half in place of Halapoulivaati Vaitai (evaluated for concussion).

It was a nice bounce-back performance, after a weak showing from the line in Week 14 (four sacks permitted).

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