Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Rising/Falling: Detroit Lions Week 15
By Michael Rothstein
Each week, we'll look at who or what might be rising or falling with the Detroit Lions.
WR Jeremy Ross: Two return touchdowns in horrific weather will go a long way to solidify any player's status on the roster and Ross has certainly done that over the past two weeks. Ross almost broke a third touchdown a week earlier against Green Bay. The former Cal Bear seems to be finding a groove and role with Detroit right now.
RG Larry Warford: The rookie from Kentucky has still not allowed a sack this season and graded out positively according to Pro Football Focus in a game in which no one could get solid footing. He is putting himself in position where should probably be considered for offensive rookie of the year, a rarity for a guard. According to PFF, Warford is the fourth-best guard in the NFL and the second-best right guard behind Denver's Louis Vasquez.
P Sam Martin: Considering the conditions, Martin had a good game Sunday, placing two balls inside the 20-yard line and also had a punt go 50-plus yards in bad conditions. Also, he didn't have a bad day -- like many of his teammates did. He's been a consistent punter for the Lions all season long and it showed in the snow.
QB Matthew Stafford: The Lions' franchise quarterback has endured a terrible second half of the season. He has had two games with under 50 percent completions, turned the ball over with consistency and has been especially bad in the fourth quarter, an area where he had been strong throughout his career. Stafford has always had some streakiness to him, but the Lions need him to turn around. Fast.
Lions run defense: It took 14 weeks and a horrific snowstorm, but Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy became the first 100-yard rusher against the Lions this season. The Eagles also rushed for four touchdowns -- almost equaling the five touchdowns every other team in the league has scored against them combined. For Detroit to make a playoff push, the Lions need Sunday to be a blip during an otherwise strong season of run defense instead of the beginning of a downturn.
S Louis Delmas: He's played in every game this season -- something that was a concern before the year -- but he had a rough outing in the snow Sunday. He took an awful, tentative path to the ball on LeSean McCoy's 57-yard touchdown run and also missed three tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.