What were Detroit Lions thinking signing Chase Daniel in free agency?
Breaking down the Detroit Lions' 47-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Free Press sports journalist Dave Birkett looks at players who helped and hurt their stocks at Ford Field on Saturday:
QB Tom Brady: At the age of 43, Brady has just put together what may be the biggest four quarters of football in NFL history. In the second half of last week's deficit win against the Atlanta Falcons and the first half of Saturday's game, Brady completed 43 of 56 passes (76.8%) for 668 yards and six touchdowns. He faced an understaffed Lions defense on Saturday, and for his first year in a new system, the Bucs look like a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
MITCH ALBOM: Even in a strange year, Lions remain true to form - absolute chaos
KR / PR Jamal Agnew: Agnew almost broke return touchdowns in the last two weeks, and he finally hit Paydirt on Saturday, taking a 74-yard lead for the Lions' sole score early in the third quarter. Agnew got good blocks in the game from jammers Justin Coleman and Mike Ford, and he also did two nice tackles in punt coverage. He's worth staying as an ace on a special team in 2021.
Detroit Lions quarterback Chase Daniel will be followed at Ford Field by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebackers Devin White, 45, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches, 56, during the first half of Saturday, December 26, 2020.
QB Chase Daniel: The Lions signed Daniel on a three-year $ 13 million deal this offseason to avoid situations like this - where they look completely incapable on the offensive when Matthew Stafford can't walk. Daniel completed 13 out of 18 passports on Saturday but only 86 meters as he was moving the offense with no purpose. He has $ 1.5 million salary guarantees for 2021, but the next regime will have to think long and hard about introducing a new backup.
DAVE BIRKETT: It is time for the Lions to shut down QB Matthew Stafford
S Duron Harmon: Harmon is making this list for a second straight week. Whether he's trying to explain the Lions' defensive shortcomings or not being the player he was in New England is up for debate, but Harmon hasn't played great football in the past few weeks. On Saturday he was beaten with a 47 yard pass in the second series of the game and took a bad angle on a bubble screen that lasted an additional 29 yards.
[Brady showed the Detroit Lions what their next QB needs]
CB Darryl Roberts: The Lions gave up passing 491 yards, so it's only fitting that a few defenders are on the down list. Roberts slipped on a 33-yard pass in the first series of the game, looked lost on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to Mike Evans, and fought so early that the Lions fought him in favor of calling up the Tramaine practice group Put Brock on the bench. Roberts can be a viable fourth cornerback, but when asked to take on a bigger role, he struggles.
Grades from Saturday: Secondary school gets worse than an F.
SHAWN WINDSOR: This was the Lions game for 2020; Thank god it's over
NFL COVID-19 Logs: I don't think this would have made much difference, but the NFL did the Lions a disservice by getting them to play the game on Saturday with five coaches in quarantine. The league has consistently not postponed any games this season for competitive reasons and if they were to make exceptions to this rule it would undoubtedly cause problems. Even so, the Lions' slim chances of scoring an angry goal on Saturday were gone when they lost interim coach Darrell Bevell, defense coordinator Cory Undlin and three of the week's best defense assistants. It would be one thing if all five were to deal with COVID long term, but the fact that they should have been able to train had the NFL postponed the game to Sunday seems an easy step.
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.
This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Chase Daniel Failed to Solve the Detroit Lions Backup QB Issues
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