Detroit Lions Week 5 Review: The Good and the Bad

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Final. 14. 50. 17. 16

The Detroit Lions suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills to move to 3-2 for the year. It was a game that started off well for Detroit, but poor offensive play, kicking, and injuries took their toll and the Lions couldn’t close out a tight game against the Bills.

Let’s take a closer look at the good and bad takeaways from today’s loss.

Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate (15) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Jeremy Ross (12) during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Golden Tate

The offense as a whole looked pretty miserable against the Bills, but there were a few bright spots. Tate stepped up for the limited Calvin Johnson for the second straight week. When Johnson was taken out of the game after taking a shot to his already injured ankle, Tate and Stafford connected for a game high seven receptions, including a 55-yard catch putting them into game-winning field goal position (we’ll get to that later) late in the game.

There is no question that Golden Tate was a solid acquisition for the Lions this year, but he can’t do everything himself.

George Winn

Winn made his NFL debut today with both Joique Bell and Theo Riddick inactive, and he had arguably the best performance out of the backfield we’ve seen all year. He had 48 rushing yards on 11 attempts and even pancaked defensive end Mario Williams while in pass protection.

Mathis is quietly putting together a solid year for the Lions and has given up less than a 50 percent catch rate on passes thrown his way.

Still, having Winn as your lone running back by the end of week five brings a lot of cause for concern. The Lions have dealt with a surplus of injuries in their backfield and they will need them to quickly get healthy if they want to provide a spark on offense.

Rashean Mathis

Defensively, the Lions played very well considering their offense didn’t provide them much time off the field. Mathis did a solid job blanketing his receiver all game long and even made a nice read on a short throw resulting in an interception returned for a touchdown.

Mathis is quietly putting together a solid year for the Lions and has given up less than a 50 percent catch rate on passes thrown his way.

Defensive Line

You have to give a lot of credit to Kyle Orton who was beaten down almost every other snap and still managed to lead his team to a victory.

I don’t have the numbers in front of me right now, but I can guarantee that Orton was lying on his back for over half of his dropbacks today.

The defensive line also did a spectacular job of holding the rushing duo of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller to just 57 yards total, putting the game in Orton’s hands.

Jason Jones ran several stunts to free himself and get a few hits on Orton and George Johnson got a few hits in as well, including the only sack credited to the defensive line.

DeAndre Levy

13 tackles isn’t bad.

Levy had a few nice reads stopping the ball carrier for a loss or minimal gain. This defense has been lights out through five consecutive weeks.

Honorable Mentions:

Jeremy Ross, Darius Slay, Sam Martin, the Bears lost?