NFC North Roundup for NFL Week 11

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Detroit Lions

Nov 17, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detroit Lions safety Don Carey (32) reacts to the Pittsburgh Steelers touchdown during the second half at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won the game, 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions came into this week of play with a one-game lead in the NFC North and the opportunity to start putting some distance between them and the bruised Packers and Bears.

Instead, they dropped a 37-27 stinker to the Pittsburgh Steelers, in a game that saw them dominated for about three out of four quarters. This game highlights two things that will be a story for this team the rest of the season: the inconsistency of the offense, and the incoherence of the secondary.

Many will talk about the Lions’ decision to try a fake field goal with a four-point lead instead of taking a short field goal. Sadly, fewer will point to the Lions defense giving up a 97-yard touchdown drive in response, because that’s where they lost the game.

The Steelers don’t exactly have a top-flight offense, but that didn’t stop them from throwing the ball all over the Lions defense. The only reason it wasn’t much worse is because the Steelers missed some easy plays because of drops and overthrows.

Of course, the Lions can say the same of their own offense. “Missed opportunities” was really the theme of the game on both sides of the ball, and it’s a common theme for them in most games, which is why their grasp on the NFC North seems tenuous, even with the Bears and Packers also playing poorly.

Next Game: 11/24 vs Tampa Bay (2-8)