All the lineup shifting led to some radical changes in snap counts against Miami, which we’ll cover by position here.
Quarterback: Matthew Stafford (67 of 67).
Analysis: Stafford has been the beacon of health this season despite being pressured a bunch Sunday.
Analysis: Bell handled the majority of the work for the Lions, although it is unclear if Bush aggravated his ankle again, as he did limp off early in the game and was used sparingly after that. Bell ran hard, though, so he may just be siphoning the job away from Bush as well. Riddick’s usage rate continues to be impressive. Of his seven offensive plays, he had three rushes (for zero yards) and was targeted by Stafford three times, including the game-winning touchdown. When he’s in, the ball is likely headed his way.
Analysis: Johnson’s return decimated Fuller’s playing time, as the No. 4 receiver saw his snaps cut by more than half. Johnson said he still thought about the ankle intermittently but that for the most part he felt good. The snap counts would indicate that.
Tight end: Brandon Pettigrew (43 of 67), Kellen Davis (26 of 67).
Analysis: Pettigrew saw most of the work, but Davis played a lot late, in part because of Pettigrew’s still-ailing foot. Pettigrew’s injury continued to open up the Lions to using a lot of three-wide sets, but this should change as Pettigrew and the inactive Joseph Fauria and Eric Ebron return to health.
Analysis: Reiff played every snap as usual. Waddle appeared to aggravate his calf -- he missed almost four games with the injury earlier this season -- and Lucas replaced him. Tough day for the rookie, who Pro Football Focus charged with three quarterback hurries and a sack.
Analysis: Warford’s knee injury changed the dynamic of the line, and rookie Swanson filled in for him almost the entire game. Not a bad debut for Swanson, considering the situation and the strength of Miami’s defensive front. He was called for one penalty and charged with three hurries (but no hits or sacks on Stafford) by PFF.
Defensive line: Ndamukong Suh (48 of 61), Jason Jones (43 of 61), C.J. Mosley (42 of 61), Ezekiel Ansah (36 of 61), George Johnson (29 of 61), Darryl Tapp (15 of 61), Devin Taylor (14 of 61), Andre Fluellen (10 of 61), Caraun Reid (7 of 61).
Analysis: With Nick Fairley out, Jones saw a somewhat large increase in snaps and played both end and tackle as a versatile defensive lineman who ended up being the third tackle in the rotation along with the starting end. Reid’s snaps dropped significantly due to Jones’ play inside and the appearance of Fluellen, who didn’t do much in his limited work. Taylor saw a bit of an increased workload, too, because of Jones’ bouncing inside and out.
Analysis: The number might seem low for Van Noy in his debut, but that might be due to Detroit’s defensive scheme. The Lions rarely played base 4-3 defense, instead going with two nickel situations with Don Carey and Cassius Vaughn. Bynes and Whitehead came closer to splitting time, including Bynes being on the field in a critical fourth-quarter drive.
Analysis: Listing Carey here because his time came as the slot corner. The Lions split two packages here, going with Carey more in the first quarter and then playing a lot more with Vaughn after that. Vaughn seemed to slide into what was Danny Gorrer’s role as the more traditional nickel, although he can also play the bigger nickel.
Analysis: Ho-hum here. Abdul-Quddus replaced Ihedigbo when he left the game briefly due to injury. That’s it.