A team doesn't get to 4-1 to start the season without a number of players stepping up and playing good football. That's certainly been the case for the Detroit Lions as they have a number of guys playing at an elite level. A lot of players deserve credit for Detroit's hot start, but these five in particular have taken it to the next level through the first five games of the season:
1. QUARTERBACK JARED GOFF
A Pro Bowler last season, Goff is playing even better to start this season and is a big reason why Detroit is No. 4 in scoring offense and No. 6 in total offense through five games.
Goff ranks in the top 10 among NFL quarterbacks in passing yards (1,265), completion percentage (69.8), yards per attempt (7.96), touchdowns (9) and passer rating (104.4). He's one of only eight quarterbacks in the NFL with a passer rating above 100.0 on the season.
Goff has the highest grade among all NFL quarterbacks by Pro Football Focus and has complete control of offensive coordinator Ben Johnson's offense. He's completed a pass to 12 different pass catchers in five games. He's playing the quarterback position at an elite level right now.
2. DEFENSIVE LINEMAN AIDAN HUTCHINSON
Here's a terrific statistic that explains just how productive Hutchinson has been in just 22 career games in the NFL. He is already just the ninth player in team history to log at least 13.0 sacks and four interceptions for the Lions.
The top five graded edge rushers in the NFL by PFF through 5 weeks are Nick Bosa (94.2), Myles Garrett (92.3), Maxx Crosby (91.6), T.J. Watt (91.6) and Hutchinson (91.4). That's quite the company to keep. Hutchinson leads all edge rushers with 26 hurries and 35 total pressures, and his 4.5 sacks rank in the top 10 among edge rushers.
3. RUNNING BACK DAVID MONTGOMERY
Montgomery has been a workhorse for Detroit, averaging 22.3 carries per game. He's tough, elusive and explosive, and the perfect lead back for Johnson's offense.
Montgomery's six touchdowns are second only to the seven from Christian McCaffrey and Raheem Mostert. His 371 rushing yards rank seventh and his 23 rushing first downs are the fourth most among the league's running backs despite missing a game and a half with a thigh injury suffered Week 2.
He set the franchise record for the most rushing touchdowns a Lions player has had in their first four games with the team and the first player to rush for a touchdown in each of his first four games with the team.
4. TACKLE PENEI SEWELL
It's wild to think that Sewell turned just turned 23 years old on Monday. He's already been to a Pro Bowl and is currently the fourth highest graded tackle in football by PFF (regardless of side) among tackles who have played at least three games this season.
In five games playing both left and right tackle, Sewell has allowed two total hurries with no sacks or quarterback hits on 175 pass block reps. Sewell is well on his way to earning his second Pro Bowl nod as one of the most complete and athletic tackles in the game.
5. TIGHT END SAM LAPORTA
The tight end position isn't an easy one to transition into at the NFL level from college, which is why we don't see a lot of first-year tight ends tear up the league statistically. Then there's LaPorta. He's just the second tight end in NFL history and the first since 1975 to total at least 275 receiving yards and three touchdowns through the first five games of his career.
LaPorta is currently fourth in receptions among tight ends behind only T.J. Hockenson (30), Evan Engram (29) and Travis Kelce (27). His 289 receiving yards are the most among the league's tight ends and his three touchdown grabs are tied with Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Cole Kmet and Donald Parham for the NFL lead.