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Week 1 vs. TB
Receiving: 4 / 57 / 0 on 6 targets
Pettigrew continued his role as the big play threat of the Lions down the middle of the field. With defenses focusing on Calvin Johnson and Jahvid, Pettigrew was free to work the middle of the field and take advantage of his size and speed. In the first quarter, he had a nice 19 yard reception on a sideline route, and his biggest gain was a 25 yard bomb down the middle of the field on a fake to Jahvid Best. Pettigrew should have had a TD at the end of the first quarter, but the ball went right through his hands. Stafford put the ball in perfect position for him, but Pettigrew couldn't come up with it and the Lions had to settle for a field goal.
Week 2 vs. KC
Receiving: 1 / 7 / 0 on 3 targets
He hurt himself in the 2nd quarter as he laid out on a nice pass from Stafford where he had to buy time and also get a key block form his Best in order to even get the pass off as he was running for the sidelines. Pettigrew could not hold on to the ball falling out of bounds and appeared to hurt his left shoulder as he fell to the ground. Hopefully nothing major and he will be fine for next week. The Lions pulled ahead and then there was really no reason for them to keep throwing the football so Pettigrew had a fairly quiet afternoon. He did make an appearance late in the game and caught a short pass near the end zone so hopefully he is fine moving forward.
Week 3 vs. MIN
Receiving: 11 / 112 / 0 on 13 targets
During the first 2 weeks, Pettigrew was used mostly as a blocker, but in this game he was like a nice, cozy security blanket for Stafford. Time after time, Stafford found Pettigrew settled in the soft middle of the frequent zone coverage from the Vikings. Pettigrew's ability was best demonstrated on back-to-back plays in the 3rd quarter when he followed an easy 10-yard reception (where he seemed unguarded) with a 27-yard seam route, beating EJ Henderson down the middle to the Minnesota 2 yard line. Pettigrew was critical to the Lions' second half offensive scheme, where they negated the Minnesota rush by completing short to intermediate length passes designed to find the openings in coverage they had identified at halftime.
Week 4 vs. DAL
Receiving: 6 / 64 / 0 on 9 targets
Although he didn't reach the end zone in this contest, Pettigrew did what he does best --- burn defenses over the middle with his size and speed. For most of the game, Pettigrew was that safety valve --- when Stafford was under pressure, Pettigrew was the guy he looked to dump the ball to. However, at the end of the third quarter, Stafford opened up his comeback march with a big 22 yard catch and run over the middle of the field Stafford found a wide open Pettigrew to kick-start the drive and tour plays later, Calvin had the first of his two TD receptions. He had several other catch and run type check down plays throughout the game, including a nice 13 yard one that was called back in the 4th quarter due to an illegal block in the back by Nate Burleson. The drive eventually led to a field goal, but Stafford was hoping to get close enough for a TD. With the talent that this team has on the outside, expect Pettigrew to continue to chip in 4-6 receptions a game, including several big plays down the middle of the field. He's the guy that Stafford looks to when he's in trouble and that will lead to a lot of receptions.
Week 5 vs. CHI
Receiving: 4 / 39 / 1 on 5 targets
Had a nice touchdown grab early in the 2nd half as he lined up in a classic TE stance on the line and released untouched on the right side. Lance Briggs tried to catch up but it was too late as Stafford fired it in there and it was an easy walk to the end zone for Brandon Pettigrew. He had numerous targets and caught most of everything thrown his way. He has great complimentary WRs that draw most coverage away form him leaving him many times one on one with a LB which a complete mismatch. Good solid night for Pettigrew and his owners.
Week 6 vs. SF
Receiving: 8 / 42 / 1 on 14 targets
On a team with explosive playmakers like Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best, it was Pettigrew who was the most heavily involved player in the team's passing game. He came very close to scores on two separate occasions early on. One pass was about to be caught when the defender blindly stuck his hand up at the last second to knock it away. On another, he was wide open in the corner of the end zone for another touchdown, but tripped and fell before getting to the ball. Pettigrew did eventually manage to haul in a touchdown, but even that one wasn't without controversy. The ball was being juggled as he was falling to the ground, but as he hit the ground his arm was wrapped around the ball while the arm of the defender was also wrapped as well. Moments after Pettigrew hit the ground and was on his back, the ball was stripped away by the defender. It was unclear whether Pettigrew had established clear possession of the ball, but either way the play should have been reviewed. It wasn't, and the call stood. In the second half, Pettigrew added another red zone target but the ball was thrown behind him. And to cap off his afternoon, he dropped a couple of fourth quarter passes. One of the balls was tipped at the line which affected the speed and trajectory of the pass, so it's understandable that Pettigrew tried to catch and turn upfield too quickly since he expected the ball to be there a lot sooner.
Week 7 vs. ATL
Receiving: 4 / 31 / 0 on 6 targets
Brandon Pettigrew's production took a big hit as
Stafford had an erratic day and was forcing a lot of balls as the
Lions were behind in this game. Pettigrew was used mostly on short
routes and slants on quick passes for first downs. He has a lot of
value in the red zone but the Lions did not have many plays in the red
zone and relied on a big play for their only touchdown. The Lions also
ran the ball a lot and this limited Stafford's pass attempts.
Week 8 vs. DEN
Receiving: 3 / 8 / 0 on 4 targets
Pettigrew had a quiet game for Detroit, finishing with just three short receptions. In the first quarter, he caught a short screen but was immediately dropped for a four yard loss. Stafford went back to him again on the next play, a short five yard curl to get him some positive yardage. In the second quarter, Stafford dumped the ball over the middle to Pettigrew for his longest catch of the day --- a seven yard catch and run to open the drive. Pettigrew had one other target --- a short sideline route in the third quarter when Stafford was rolling out under pressure and tried to side-arm the ball to Pettigrew --- it was nearly picked off. Pettigrew didn't have a target in the 4th quarter.
Week 10 vs. CHI
Receiving: 5 / 38 / 0 on 9 targets
The Lions needed Pettigrew to come up big in this game, but he ended up with a very pedestrian like performance. With Calvin Johnson and Titus Young drawing the defensive attention, Pettigrew should have been able to exploit the middle of the field. Unfortunately for him, he was never able to shake off the coverage and finished the game with just 38 receiving yards on nine targets. His biggest play came just before half-time, when Stafford found him on the right side of the field on a medium curl route. Pettigrew made the catch and fought forward for a bit 17 yard gain. The rest of the game was spent catching short check-down passes for minimal gains. Down the stretch with the game well out of reach, Matthew Stafford targeted Tony Scheffler instead of Pettigrew in the red zone.
Week 11 vs. CAR
Receiving: 4 / 37 / 1 on 5 targets
The Lions' primary tight end Brandon Pettigrew was a good safe option in the passing game for Stafford in this game. Pettigrew did not venture downfield very often, instead operating within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. Pettigrew was tough after the catch and hard to bring down. Pettigrew was targeted two times in the red zone, including one that went for a touchdown. Pettigrew shook free of the LB in coverage and got open for a go ahead score.
Week 12 vs. GB
Receiving: 4 / 27 / 0 on 8 targets
Pettigrew stayed consistently involved in this game for the Lions, but ultimately contributed very little. His longest reception was just 10 yards, and all three of Stafford's interceptions were when he was trying to go to Pettigrew. The first was a bad decision where Stafford tried to force the ball into coverage and it was tipped. The second was a great play by the linebacker, going up to grab the ball as Pettigrew was targeted down the middle. The third was a big jump from Charles Woodson, where he keyed on Stafford and made his move the minute Stafford went to throw the ball. For the game, Pettigrew finished with just four receptions for 27 yards.
Week 13 vs. NO
Receiving: 2 / 13 / 0 on 4 targets
Pettigrew played a very small part in the gameplan, aside from a ludicrous personal foul where he actually hit the ref. The penalties really were a large part of the reason Detroit lost, and this one was one of the worst.
Week 14 vs. MIN
Receiving: 6 / 57 / 1 on 7 targets
Pettigrew had a big game for Detroit, catching six of the seven passes thrown his way, including a nice 12 yard reception mid-way through the first quarter. His only incomplete was a dropped pass on the opening drive that was thrown a little too low for him to come up with. Later in the quarter, Pettigrew caught a nice screen and broke up the field. When the defender tried to tackle him, Pettigrew showed great athleticism by jumping over him and barreled forward for a big 17 yard gain. A Few plays later, Pettigrew ran a deep corner route, where he was able to find a hole in the secondary and come down with the perfect 12 yard TD reception. He added two more receptions for 17 yards to end the first quarter. After the Lions jumped out to the big lead, the Lions didn't need Pettigrew as much, but he did come up with the two passes for four and seven yards that were thrown his way in the third quarter as well. He finished the day with most receptions for the Lions, and a solid fantasy day as well.
Week 15 vs. OAK
Receiving: 5 / 49 / 0 on 11 targets
Dropped a lot of balls but he also made several tough receptions for his QB. It was up and down but owners could have cashed in on a lot more. Some of those Calvin Johnson points should have landed in Pettigrew's stat line. Seemed like he had a sure TD in the 4th quarter but made his 3rd drop of the day at that point and cost himself and owners a TD. Pettigrew had a couple end zone targets and came close to cashing in but fell short.
Week 16 vs. SD
Receiving: 9 / 80 / 1 on 10 targets
Pettigrew took full advantage of the attention being paid to WR Calvin Johnson early on by piling up first half receptions en route to a game high nine catches (one of which broke his own Detroit team record for receptions by a tight end). Pettigrew was also rewarded with another red zone look. After scoring just twice in his first nine games, Pettigrew has now scored three times in the last six contests. His touchdown catch in this game was part great pass, part great catch. QB Matthew Stafford fired a bullet into a very tight space where only Pettigrew could catch it, but the big tight end also did a nice job in falling away to his right and hauling in the low throw despite a defender being all over him. As has been the cast most of the season, the majority of Pettigrew's receptions were for shorter yardage, but they helped keep drives alive and/or set up manageable third down pass plays for Stafford.
Week 17 vs. GB
Receiving: 7 / 116 / 0 on 11 targets
Pettigrew turned in his best game of the season, with seven receptions for a season-high 116 receiving yards. He gashed the Packers time and again down the middle of the field, taking advantage of the fact that the Packers were sitting several of their key defensive stars. In fact, four of Pettigrew's seven receptions were for 20 or more yards, including a huge 22 yard reception down the middle of the field of the final scoring drive of the game for the Lions. Pettigrew posted career best totals in receptions, yards and TDS this season, and finished as the #11 fantasy TE this season.
Week 18 vs. NO
Receiving: 4 / 49 / 0 on 5 targets
Brandon Pettigrew had a nice catch, diving for the deep seam pattern from Stafford and looked athletic while showing his great hands and concentration. However some of his production came late in the game and on check down patterns when the game was long decided. Pettigrew leads the DET TE position by far but he still disappears a lot in games and the bulk of the passing game is put on Johnson. Pettigrew is also a good redzone threat, using his big body and sure hands but DET and QB Stafford hard to press heavy in this game and TE's were not top targets on Saturday.