Lions' Week 7 Offensive Grades: Matthew Stafford Makes Falcons Pay

Read more to find out the Lions' Week 7 offensive grades
Author:
Publish date:

The Detroit Lions have won back-to-back games. Really. 

And it didn't come easy Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Trailing Atlanta, 22-16, with 1:04 to play, Matthew Stafford recorded his 30th career fourth-quarter comeback, capping off a miracle finish for the Lions.

It made it extremely easy for me to give Stafford the high mark that I did for his Week 7 efforts.

Without further ado, here are my grades for Stafford and the rest of the offense after their 23-22 win over the Falcons. 

Quarterback 

Stafford delivered his best performance of the season, and to no surprise, the Lions proceeded to get the win Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.

He finished with a season-best 340 yards through the air and yet, just one touchdown pass.

However, it came at the most opportune time: on the final drive of the game. 

Stafford turned back the clock, and led Detroit on an eight-play, 75-yard game-winning drive, which culminated with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to tight end T.J. Hockenson. 

The 12th-year passer accounted for all 75 yards on the possession, which marked the 36th game-winning drive of Stafford's career. 

It was his finest moment of the 2020 campaign so far, and it saved the Lions' season, at least for the time being. 

Grade: A 

Running backs 

D'Andre Swift's encore performance after rushing for a career-high 116 yards a week ago was not one to remember.

He finished the contest with nine carries for 27 yards and a touchdown on the goal line, during which he made a nice cut-back after the initial running lane was clogged up by Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson rushed for just 29 yards -- his third straight game with no more than 40 yards on the ground -- and notably got stuffed on a fourth-down conversion try.

And Kerryon Johnson, the third back in Detroit's running backs rotation, was relegated to blocking duties once again, and in his defense, did come up with a few good blocks throughout the contest.

The RB trio will need to increase its level of production moving forward, if the Lions want to keep up their winning ways.

Grade: B- 

Wide receivers/tight ends 

Man, does Kenny Golladay want to get paid or what?

The star wideout finished with a season-best six receptions for 114 yards on seven targets from Stafford.

USATSI_15114255_168388382_lowres

And he came up with some big catches, including one in the third quarter in which he went up seemingly where no one else on the Lions or Falcons could have and grabbed the ball out of the air for a 29-yard gain. 

It brought back memories of Calvin Johnson doing the same thing for Stafford, specifically on throws that he only could go and get.

The 29-yard catch helped set up a Matt Prater 51-yard field goal.

Golladay also came through with another 29-yard grab late in the fourth quarter that was a part of Detroit's game-winning drive.

The game-winning score went to Hockenson, who recorded his third straight game with a TD -- tied for the longest streak by a tight end in franchise history since the AFL/NFL merger.

Outside of running into the same area as Marvin Jones Jr. on a third-and-7 pass attempt from Stafford in the third quarter, Hockenson put together a nice rebound performance (five receptions for 59 yards), after finishing with just two catches and no more than 17 yards in each of his last two games. 

Speaking of Jones, he produced his best game of the season, with five catches for 80 yards.

Veteran receiver Danny Amendola did drop a third-down pass that would've gone for a first down in the first quarter. 

But, that was one of the very few lowlights from the Lions' receivers Sunday, and it's why the group gets the high mark it does for its Week 7 performance. 

Grade: A-

Offensive line 

Sure, the Lions' offensive line didn't have a great game opening up holes for the ground attack Sunday.

But, it did allow only two sacks, and avoided committing a single penalty.

Most impressively, though, center Frank Ragnow and the rest of Detroit's O-line did a solid job of limiting the production of Atlanta defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who finished with just two total tackles, zero tackles for loss and zero sacks.

It wasn't an all-around pretty performance, with both Tyrell Crosby and Halapoulivaati Vaitai missing blocks on short-yardage runs. 

But, at the end of the day, the line did well enough to keep Stafford upright for the majority of the game and to not cost the Lions their best win of the season.

Grade: C 

More from SI All Lions:

Adrian Peterson's Yards Per Carry Average Has Plummeted

Matthew Stafford Explains Final Play

Unsung Hero: Romeo Okwara 'Wants to Be Great'

Report: D'Andre Swift to Have 'Expanded Role' against Falcons

Get the latest Detroit Lions news by joining our community. Click "Follow" at the top right of our SI All Lions page. Mobile users click the notification bell. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @detroitpodcast Mobile users click the notification bell. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @DetroitPodcast