Giants 28, Lions 20 (box score)
Argh. One week after looking so crisp, prepared, and polished the Lions fell back into the old habits that got themselves off to an 0-4 start.
The Lions had it all clicking against the Rams with their offense, defense, and special teams each providing big contributions towards the 44-6 win. The common thread through all three phases of the game today was the untimely penalty. It killed and backed-up Lions drives and it extended Giants drives.
The Lions’ play wasn’t particularly bad but their composure and decision making certainly were. Lions fans couldn’t help but remember back to the first four weeks of the season when we were all looking for signs of progress yet there was no win to point to. Sure, the scores were close but we’ve seen close scores before. It felt like they were just a play or two away but that is hard to justify as we watch the team self-destruct. All those emotions came back this week. I’d say the Lions shot themselves in the foot but both feet have long since been blown away.
So where are we now? Was last week’s performance and aberration and what we saw today the reality? A quick look at what has transpired for the Lions over the first six weeks reveals what has been the exception and what has been the rule. The Lions still don’t have what it takes to get over the hump on a weekly basis.
The bye week is coming at a good time for the Lions. They can take a week to rest and recharge and they will emerge a different team. Matthew Stafford will be back at quarterback to give the offense its full compliment of playmakers while the banged up defense will have a chance to get healthy. The loss of DeAndre Levy from the middle of the Lions’ defense has had a big impact and the possibility of his return is something to look forward to. Injuries are a reality of life in the NFL but the Lions are not in a place to overcome them.
Heading into the bye week with a 1-5 record is disappointing but not terribly surprising. That just shows how long the road to respectability will be for the Lions. As they attempt to exit the shadow of historical futility we are hit with the tying of the record for most consecutive road losses, a record they now share with themselves. Breaking free of that history is a hard thing to do but continuing with the same old-same old will make that task impossible.