The Detroit Lions bested The Minnesota Vikings Sunday 34-23 in a must win game to keep their playoff hopes alive. The divisional truly felt like the first signature win of the Dan Campbell era, as the Lions finally found a way to win a meaningful game in convincing fashion. Jared Goff and the offense shined, throwing for 330 yards on a weak Vikings secondary, and the defense bent but did not break, only allowing 23 points. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest risers and fallers on The Detroit Lions’ roster after Week 14.
Stock Up: Ben Johnson
The Detroit Lions’ offense has been rolling for the past six weeks, much of that thanks to terrific play calling from offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. We knew The Detroit Lions have the ability to run the ball behind a stout offensive line, and excel in the short to medium play action passing game, but in the past two weeks the offense has excelled in the vertical passing game. On Sunday, Goff threw two 40+ yard passing touchdowns to rookie Jameson Williams and DJ Chark respectively. Allowing Goff to sit back in the pocket and air the ball out deep has added another layer to one of the most productive offenses in the NFL. Johnson will certainly be in the running for several head coaching jobs in the 2023 NFL offseason.
Stock Down: Josh Paschal
Second round pick Josh Paschal has missed most of the season with several lingering injuries, but has been fairly unproductive as a rotational piece on The Detroit Lions’ defensive front. It is difficult to evaluate whether or not Paschal will be a meaningful starter moving forward, as he has only played in a handful of games, but he has been outshined by other rookies like Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston. Paschal was one of the worst graded defenders for The Lions on Sunday, posting a 50.9 PFF grade.
Stock Up: Taylor Decker
It’s time to start giving left tackle Taylor Decker his flowers, he is one of the best players in the league at his position. Decker allowed a total of 0 pressures on Sunday against the likes of Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter and Za’Darious Smith, the fourth time he’s done so this season. Decker and right tackle Penei Sewell have been stout at protecting Jared Goff this season, and it showed Sunday when he wasn’t sacked a single time. Decker posted a 74.4 PFF grade against The Vikings, to go along with his 72.0 grade for the season.
Stock Up: Aidan Hutchinson
Aidan Hutchinson has been outstanding this season. With a rookie leading 7 sacks, he has proven to be well worth the 2nd overall pick. Hutchinson sacked Kirk Cousins late in the game on a key drive to get the ball back for Detroit, his second in as many weeks. Hutchinson posted the best PFF grade of any Detroit Lion on Sunday, with an outstanding 91.5 grade. While the betting favorite for defensive rookie of the year points to Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner of The New York Jets, Hutchinson has cemented himself as a worthwhile candidate.