Pro Football Focus uses a complex system to analyze every NFL player involved in every snap in every game and assigns a grade based on how he performed on that play, with each position having its own set of grading guidelines. Plus/minus scores are given in 0.5 increments and a small normalization factor is applied to make 0.0 the average grade for a game or season. To learn more, visit www.profootballfocus.com
Three statistical takeaways from the Packers’ 27-23 win last week over the Lions:
1. The Packers entered the game without two offensive-line starters (right tackle Bryan Bulaga and right guard T.J. Lang), then lost center Corey Linsley and (for one key play) left tackle David Bakhtiari. The results were not pretty, as the backups struggled. Reserve tackle Don Barclay (-6.0 in pass protection) was responsible for two sacks, three hits and five hurries. He also had a false-start penalty and no plus-graded plays as a run blocker. Reserve guard Lane Taylor (-1.9) allowed four hurries, and when Josh Walker (-0.9) had to replace Bakhtiari for one play, the Lions fooled him with a stunt and got a sack.
2.Ty Montgomery’s continuing absence because of a sprained ankle suffered in Week 6 against San Diego remains a drain on the receiving corps. James Jones (-1.6) again was a no-show and the Packers got negative grades from Davante Adams (-0.7), Randall Cobb (-0.4) and Jeff Janis (-0.1). But Richard Rodgers was enjoying a breakthrough performance even before he made the winning grab on the game-ending Hail Mary. The second-year tight end’s overall grade (+3.1) easily bested his previous top showings of +1.0 this season against the Panthers and the first game against the Lions.
3. The Packers’ defense shut down the Lions’ running game, led by safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (+3.7) and Morgan Burnett (+2.8), who combined for seven defensive stops. Outside linebacker Julius Peppers (+3.1) and ends Mike Daniels (2.9) and Mike Pennel (+2.2) also had big nights. As PFF's Nathan Jahnke notes, when the Packers face a designed running play, they've made a tackle for a loss 15.9% of the time, the third-best rate in the league.