Lions' Week 11 Offensive Grades: Offensive Line Torched by Brian Burns

Read more on the Lions' offensive grades after their Week 11 loss to the Carolina Panthers

On Sunday, the Lions were shut out for the first time since Matthew Stafford's rookie season, specifically Week 6 of the 2009 season against the Green Bay Packers. 

In Detroit's Week 11 contest with the Carolina Panthers, Stafford & Co. produced just 185 yards of offense -- easily the most disappointing offensive output of the year for the Lions. 

Here are my grades now for Stafford and the entire offense after their lackluster performance in Carolina.

Quarterback: D

Stafford was visibly affected by a torn ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand Sunday.

The 12th-year passer threw for a season-low 178 yards, and also finished with a season-worst passer rating of 70.0.

He did play a clean game of football with zero interceptions and zero fumbles, but also failed to throw a single touchdown for the first time in 2020. 

It was a disappointing performance from the veteran signal-caller. 

And it begs the question: With Stafford not fully healthy and the offense failing to do anything all afternoon long, why not sit No. 9 and insert Chase Daniel, the veteran backup the Lions acquired in the offseason, into the game?

It speaks volumes about the organization's lack of trust in Daniel and its stubbornness when it comes to playing Stafford, no matter if he's healthy enough and performing effectively or not. 

In my opinion, it was a mistake by Detroit head man Matt Patricia to leave Stafford in the game and to not play Daniel. 

All Patricia & Co. can do now is hope for a bounce-back performance from their franchise quarterback going into the Lions' meeting with the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving. 


Running backs: F

In the absence of D'Andre Swift, all Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson could do was muster up 35 total rushing yards on 13 carries.

Both backs averaged less than three yards a carry (2.8 for Johnson and 2.6 for Peterson), and Johnson had the longest run of the day on an eight-yard carry.

Detroit's backfield badly missed the presence of the emerging rookie in Swift, and did absolutely nothing to aid an injury-hampered Stafford, leading to its failing grade above. 

Receivers/tight ends: D

Sure, T.J. Hockenson and Marvin Jones Jr. both amassed over 50 reception yards (68 on four catches for Hockenson and 51 on four catches for Jones).

However, with Kenny Golladay out, Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell should've done a better job of getting Marvin Hall and Quintez Cephus involved in the passing game, specifically down the field.

Hall was the recipient of three Stafford passes, but the longest of those went for just six yards. That's a problem when he's the team's deep-threat receiver, especially with Golladay being unable to suit up.

Cephus, meanwhile, caught just one ball for nine yards, despite Danny Amendola also missing the contest due to injury.

Then, there's cornerback-turned-receiver Jamal Agnew, who hauled in three balls for a measly 10 yards and also dropped a pass toward the beginning of the fourth quarter when he started preparing to get hit before having the ball in his hands.

It was far from a good enough game from the position group as a whole, and it's the reason for the dismal grade above.

Offensive line: F

The offensive line's performance can be summed up in one word: putrid.

For starters, the usually reliable Frank Ragnow had a sloppy first quarter.

He was called for a holding penalty with a little over 8:30 remaining in the quarter, and then was responsible for a bad snap that led to a turnover toward the end of the quarter.

Meanwhile, Taylor Decker allowed his first sack of the 2020 campaign, and was also in on another that involved some apparent miscommunication with Johnson.

In total, the Lions' O-line permitted five Panthers sacks, including two from Carolina EDGE rusher Brian Burns. 

Additionally, Halapoulivaati Vaitai was benched midway through the game, as a result of ineffective play in the first half.

There's no grade other than a failing one to give the line for its performance in Week 11. 

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