Not a lot to take away from was the equivalent of a preseason game. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some standout performances.
PFF 85.0 playing every snap on defense.
Duke has been the best CB on the team for six weeks now. He is playing phenomenal, and Sunday was no different. He is not a liability at a position that is thin with all the injuries. He deserves to be starting over Dantzler even if Cam is healthy for the playoffs. The interception on 4th and 10 late in the game was just icing on the cake.
Duke Shelley's regular season (weeks 10-18) according to PFF:— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) January 9, 2023
242 coverage snaps
20 rec on 41 targets for 249 yards (48.8% comp, 6.07 Y/A)
17/20 225 yards, 1 TD, 80.9 QBR, 130.2 Passer Rating, PFF 85.9
You want to go into the playoffs with some momentum. The Vikings scored on 4 of the 5 opening drives. The only exception was the Dalvin Cook fumble. Kirk had 225 yards and a TD in the 1st half and took the 2nd half off to get ready for the Giants. It’s exactly the kind of half you want to see from your starter in what ended up being a meaningless final regular season game.
10 carries for 54 yards and 2 TDs, PFF 78.9
Mattison played well in the 2nd half after replacing Dalvin Cook. He scored the two TDs that put the game away and ran strong. 5.4 average per carry is nothing to sneeze at. He always plays well in short stints when Cook is out. I still don’t think he is better than Cook, but I don’t mind seeing him take some of the load off Cook.
5 catches for 117 yards
Osborn and Kirk have had a better connection the last few weeks of the season. Adam Thielen has not been producing at a high level and Kirk is starting to look KJ’s way more often. He’ll have an opportunity in the playoffs to show what he has. He’s on the last year of his deal next year. He might have the chance to prove he should be extended rather than proving himself next year.
I think coach played it well on Sunday. You want to see the team get some momentum and play well, but you also don’t want to risk injury. KOC got the team some good reps in the first half and then took everyone out he could. The team also wanted to win that game in case the 49ers lost later that day. They didn’t, but I think the first year coach played the strategy perfectly.
The Lions victory over the Packers was a team effort. The Lions found out before the game they were eliminated from the playoffs. They were on the road and on the terrible field in Lambeau. That’s an easy game to mail in and head home. Dan Campbell wasn’t going to let that happen on Sunday night. His team showed up big and knocked the Packers out of the playoffs. Dan made several key calls on 4th down and the team showed creativity in the play calling. This Lions team is on the rise, and I would not be surprised to see them in the playoffs next year.
Honorable mention to Kerby Joseph for the interception. It was an easy pic on a bad throw, but I appreciate it.
Who do you think was the best on Sunday?
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