With yet another promising week for the Detroit Lions, the cardiac cats did little except falter in their matchup at the New Orleans Saints. It wasn’t from a lack of trying, but more so a lack of competence.
Now, I mean that in the nicest way possible, but a 52-38 score doesn’t provoke a whole lot of anything positive. Here is the breakdown (yes, it going to be critical) of every facet of the team.
Matthew Stafford with over 50 pass attempts, three touchdowns, and three interceptions? It feels like 2012 again!
Stafford certainly was able to find the spark he has been missing over the last few weeks, but he also seemed to find the turnover bug again. After Jim Bob Cooter was criticized for his conservative approach so far this season, the Lions tried to open things up against a poor Saints defense.
They found a lot of success, with two long touchdown passes to each Marvin Jones and Golden respectively, while Ameer Abdullah was able to break off a few long runs as well. Unfortunately, Tate was lost to injury before the game was over. Jones had his most productive game of the season, hauling in six catches for 96 yards and score.
Ultimately, the Lions turned the ball over five times, with two of those turnovers coming in the deciding drives of the game. Even though he produced, Stafford had one of the worst days he has had in quite some time. He looked completely unaware on most of his turnovers, including the interception he threw inside of his own end zone.
Abdullah finished the day with a yawn-inducing 54 rushing yards on 14 carries. The anemic 100-yard rushing game continued its streak and the Lions didn’t rush for one touchdown despite it being a game against the stoic (not so much) defense of the Saints. Let’s also not forget Detroit only had two rushing first downs. Despite the sloppiness, Detroit still kept themselves in the game and that is more than enough.
To sum it all up in true Lions tradition, one step forward and three steps back. They earn a C+.
I guess it’s fitting to just go ahead and get the whole “allowing 52 points” comment out of the way. If you thought the Lions’ defense was legit this year, you were rudely awakened, slapped, and dropped back down to Earth after this game.
Mark Ingram, who isn’t known for blazing speed, seemed to bust open a long run every other play while scoring twice on the ground. In total, the team allowed 193 rushing yards. It feels like we’re headed back to relying on the run and gun style the Lions were accustomed to when Jim Schwartz was still at the helm.
Honestly, there is not a whole lot to say. It doesn’t matter how many sacks, interceptions, or tackles for a loss a defense gets, 52 points is unacceptable. There is a real problem along the front seven and it needs to be addressed immediately. They earn an F.
Special Teams B
This one might be the toughest one to determine this week.
On one hand, Jamal Agnew recorded his second punt return for a touchdown this season, a 74-yarder screamer that really gave Lions fans hope for a comeback. He had four returns for 106 yards.
On the other, only minutes later, Agnew fumbled a snap into his own end zone, which he then recovered and ran out to the one-yard line. This play culminated in Detroit having to run their offense inside the one-yard line which led to the pick-six that ended the game.
It is tough to see so much good and so much bad in the same game, but at the end of the day, special teams deserve some props. The punt return really put the Lions back in it at a time where it looked hopeless. As for the fumble, Agnew is still just a rookie and his decision making will improve. His performance so far this year has been way more than what was expected of him, so give him a break.
Matt Prater, the only consistent part of the team, ironically missed a 56-yard field goal, bringing his miss total for the season to two. Based on the return and Prater’s five made extra points, they earn a B.
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