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Comparing 2018 Lions stats to the first 5 weeks of 2017

How are the Lions offensive players performing compared to the first five games of 2017? You might be surprised at how some of the individuals compare from the 3-2 Lions of 2017 to the 2-3 edition under Matt Patricia.

Here’s how the stats compare with the offensive skill players from year to year.

2018: 126-of-191, 66 percent completions, 1385 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs, 9 sacks, QB Rating 93.8

2017: 111-of-173, 64.1 percent, 1116 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT, 18 sacks

Yards are way up, sacks are way down. Four of the five INTs came in one game (Week 1) in 2018 and that mars what has otherwise been a stark improvement across the board for Stafford.

I tallied this as a team total since the players have changed. This figure does not count QB runs.

2018: 107 carries, 459 yards, 3 TDs, 4.3 ypc

2017: 110 carries, 366 yards, 2 TDs, 3.3 ypc

The Lions have rushed for nearly 100 more yards on three fewer carries through the 5-game mark. The yards per carry is up a full yard with Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount over the primary combination of Ameer Abdullah (76 of those 110 carries), Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner.

Theo Riddick is the one main holdover (Abdullah has no carries in 2018). His number of carries has been cut in half, from 16 to 8, but he has one more yard gained in those carries, 31 to 30.

Blount played for the Eagles in 2017 as part of a shared backfield. His numbers have dropped considerably in Detroit, gaining just 117 yards on 47 carries in Detroit compared to 296 on 54 last year. Those numbers are skewed by a monster game (16 carries for 136 yards) against the Chargers, but even taking that game out he still had a 4.6 YPC average in Philly compared to his current 2.5.

2018: 33 receptions on 51 targets, 431 yards, 13.1 YPC, 3 TDs

2017: 29 receptions on 40 targets, 247 yards, 11.7 YPC, 1 TD

Quite the contrast for Tate, who opened the ’17 campaign with a 107-yard, 10-catch effort and then fell off precipitously the next four weeks. He’s getting more work down the field and more consistent targets per game.

2018: 16 receptions on 33 targets, 241 yards, 15.1 YPC, 3 TDs

2017: 14 receptions on 26 targets, 184 yards, 13.1 YPC, 2 TDs

Jones had just one game in the first five of 2017 where he gained 50 yards. His perceived slow start in 2018 dwarfs what he did a year ago, believe it or not.

2018: 27 receptions on 41 targets, 428 yards, 15.9 YPC, 3 TDs

2017: 7 receptions on 15 targets, 102 yards, 14.5 YPC, 2 TDs

Golladay only played three of the first five in 2017 and did almost all his damage in his Week 1 debut. He’s exploded in his second season and is the primary reason for the uptick in Stafford’s passing numbers.

Since the entire cast has changed here, the comparison is Eric Ebron and Darren Fells for ’17 and the package of Luke Willson, Levine Toilolo, Hakeem Valles and Michael Roberts in ’18

2018: 10 receptions on 14 targets, 74 yards, 7.4 YPC, 1 TD

2017: 21 receptions on 32 targets, 158 yards, 3 TDs

Interestingly the combination in ’18 doesn’t even equal what Fells accomplished in the first five games last season. Fells caught 8 of his 9 targets for 75 yards and 2 TDs over that period last season. Ebron was slowed by an ankle injury early in 2017 but did not miss any games. He had one official dropped pass on 23 targets in those five games. Willson and Toilolo each have a drop in ’18.

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