Packers vs. Lions: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Green Bay

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIDecember 2, 2013

Packers vs. Lions: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Green Bay

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    It was a sad day all over for the Green Bay Packers this week.
    It was a sad day all over for the Green Bay Packers this week.Leon Halip/Getty Images

    It wasn't the prettiest of performances for the Green Bay Packers this week against the Detroit Lions. In fact, this might be the worst overall report card that Green Bay has received this season.

    The Packers lost to the Lions by a score of 40-10. In all honesty, Green Bay was so bad on Thanksgiving Day that they easily could have lost by more than 30 points.

    It's definitely going to be ugly, but let's take a look at the full report card following Green Bay's loss to the Lions.


    *All statistics courtesy of



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    Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Player: Matt Flynn

    Well, it's hard to know where to start with Mr. Flynn after Thursday's performance. To call it an awful game just wouldn't do it justice.

    Flynn only completed 50 percent of his passes for 139 yards. Had he not completed a 56-yard reception to wide receiver James Jones in garbage time, his yardage would have been even worse.

    Flynn also threw one interception and zero touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. Oh, and we can't forget about the safety Flynn took or the two fumbles he had in the game.

    Despite having short fields to start the game, Flynn just couldn't get anything going against the Lions defense. The Packers only managed seven first downs in the game, which tells you just how poorly Flynn managed the offense.

    This was one of the worst performances from a quarterback of the Green Bay Packers in recent memory.


    Final Grade: F-

Running Backs

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Key Players: Eddie Lacy, James Starks, John Kuhn

    As bad as quarterback Matt Flynn was on Thursday, the ground game was even worse for the Green Bay Packers.

    Lacy finished the game with 10 carries for 16 yards, and Starks added two yards on two rushes. That's a total of only 18 yards for the top two running backs of the Green Bay Packers.

    Sure, the Detroit Lions have a great run defense, but those numbers are just ridiculously poor. As a team, the Packers only gained 24 total rushing yards while averaging 1.6 yards per carry. They also didn't get a single first down via a run play.

    It was just a terrible overall performance from this group this week. 


    Final Grade: F----

Wide Receivers

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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Players: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin

    It's hard to grade the wide receivers this week, because they absolutely didn't get any help from their quarterback in this game.

    However, this group of receivers is simply too talented to not be able to beat a secondary like the Detroit Lions. Some of Flynn's problems against Detroit was that he couldn't find an open receiver. To have a player as talented as Nelson to finish the game with only two receptions for 14 yards is just unacceptable.

    Futhermore, Boykin didn't even record a single reception in the game. That's the first time that's happened to Boykin since he became a starter for the injured Randall Cobb.

    Overall, the receivers were limited by the play of their quarterback, but they also didn't perform as well as they're capable of playing.


    Final Grade: D+

Tight Ends

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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Players: Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor

    Much like the rest of the offense, the tight ends for Green Bay didn't play exceptionally well this week.

    Quarless and Taylor combined for just two receptions and 15 yards in the game. However, where this group really struggled was when they were asked to block. Neither player was successful in pass protection or when blocking in the ground game against the Lions.

    It wasn't the worst of performances from this unit, but there is definitely plenty of room for this group to improve heading into Week 14.


    Final Grade: C-

Offensive Line

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    Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Players: David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang, Don Barclay, Marshall Newhouse, Lane Taylor, Derek Sherrod

    It's hard to know where to even begin with the offensive line this week. Whatever the worst performance from an offensive line has been in the NFL this season, this unit just topped it.

    When Dietrich-Smith left the game with a knee injury is when it all went downhill for the Green Bay Packers offensive line. First Newhouse came in, but he played absolutely terrible. Then the Packers went to Taylor and finally Sherrod to finish the game.

    This group gave up seven sacks to the Detroit Lions and didn't block anyone when quarterback Matt Flynn was tackled in his own end zone in the third quarter. If the Packers are going to win any games for the rest of the season, the offensive line cannot play as poorly as they did in this game.


    Final Grade: F--

Defensive Line

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Key Players: Johnny Jolly, B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, C.J. Wilson

    Well, now it's time to thrash the defense for their performance against the Lions. We'll start with the defensive line.

    This unit was unable to get any push or any pressure against the Lions for the entire game. The Lions rushed for 241 yards, and quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns. 

    That's now four straight games in which the defensive line has failed to stop the run or create any pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. This group used to be the strength of the defense, but it's quickly becoming a major weakness.

    For the Packers defense to start playing better it has to start with the defensive line winning in the trenches.


    Final Grade: D


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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Players: A.J. Hawk, Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Andy Mulumba

    Of all the units this week, the linebackers had the best game for the Packers.

    Sure, they weren't great, but Hawk and Jones combined for 23 total tackles in the game. Perry came up with the only sack and Matthews forced one of the two fumbles for the Lions in the game.

    While the linebackers definitely had their struggles against Detroit, this game could have gotten much worse had this group not performed the way they did.


    Final Grade: C


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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Players: Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Davon House, Micah Hyde

    At the start of this game, it appeared as if the secondary was going to have a huge game.

    Williams just came up with his second interception in three games to give the Packers a short field to work with. However, after that play it all went downhill for the Packers cornerbacks.

    Matthew Stafford finished the game with 330 passing yards and three touchdowns. The cornerbacks of the Packers were consistently beaten by the receivers of the Lions, who had no troubles getting open all game.

    It's been an extremely rough season for the cornerbacks, and this performance didn't make it any better.


    Final Grade: D


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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Players: Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Sean Richardson

    Much like the cornerbacks, the safeties for Green Bay probably wished the game ended midway through the first quarter.

    That's because it all went downhill for the safeties after Burnett recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown in the first quarter. Like the cornerbacks, the safeties were beaten all game long. The middle of the field was open on nearly every play for the Lions.

    The only reason the safeties don't get a failing grade this week is because they did make a few plays. However, they'll need to make many, many more if the Packers defense ever wants to stop an opposing offense.


    Final Grade: D-

Special Teams

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Key Players: Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Micah Hyde

    The Lions had a certain Jeremy Ross returning kicks and punts for them this week. In case you don't remember the name Ross, he's the player the Packers released because he was terrible as a return man.

    Well, Ross looked like Devin Hester in this game due to the absolute failure that was the special teams coverage unit. Ross finished the game with a 30-yard kick return and a 35-yard punt return under his belt when the buzzer sounded. 

    The coverage team has allowed big returns all year, but letting a player your team released earlier in the year completely dominate you is a new low. That's why this unit ultimately failed on Thursday.


    Final Grade: F