It was an eerily similar start for the Detroit Lions offense who continued to squander their opportunities in opponent’s territory. After scoring 17 unanswered, the Patriots led by a score of 24-6 heading into halftime. The Lions couldn’t find a spark offensively early in the second half, and there was no fourth-quarter magic from Stafford and company either.
For the Lions, it was a day to forget, and the offense failed to score a touchdown for the second straight week ending in a final score of 34-9.
Many didn’t expect Detroit to pull out a victory in Foxboro, but it was a disappointment nonetheless.
After such a poor performance, today’s recap will be slightly different since there aren’t many good takeaways from today’s game.
I don’t think I can think of anything good to takeaway from this game. If you made it out to the game, then you may have enjoyed the nice weather.
We get to play the Bears twice.
Nov 23, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
It’s getting harder and harder to defend Matthew Stafford. He didn’t get much help from his receivers or his offensive line, but taking a slide short of the first-down marker on fourth-and-long is just unacceptable.
Stafford ended the day completing just 39.1 percent of his passes on 46 attempts. With the offensive line struggling, Stafford looks as uncomfortable as he’s ever been. He escapes the pocket far too early, and still tends to stick with his first option without working through his progressions.
This was easily Stafford’s worst performance of the season, and it came against a mediocre Patriots defense.
Riley Reiff went down with an injury early in the game forcing Cornelius Lucas to take his place. Lucas was abused by the Patriots’ defensive line just a few plays after stepping onto the field and never recovered.
Travis Swanson did an okay job filling in for Larry Warford once again, but as a unit they left Stafford gazing up at the sky far too often.
The word “execution” was used quite a lot when asking Lions coaches what went wrong against the Arizona Cardinals last week. Even after offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi removed up to 20 percent of their offensive playbook, the lack of execution was still there.
There were three separate occasions where the Lions dropped a touchdown pass. First, Stafford threw a beautiful deep pass to Fuller who could not adjust to the ball properly and had it go right through his arms.
Later in the game, on a perfectly designed play, Stafford had an open Fauria and put it right in his hands, but Fauria couldn’t hold onto it. Ross had his man beat for a touchdown late in the game and dropped the third possible touchdown pass.
Nothing went right for the Lions offensively, and everyone was to blame.
I’m not even mad at our defense. I don’t think anyone should be. I mean really, who expected to see the Lions stop Brady, or even contain him in the slightest? It’s a near impossible feat, and there was no way he wasn’t going to pick the Lions apart on such a beautiful day at home.
That being said, the effort just wasn’t there today. There was an abundance of missed tackles from both the defense and special teams unit.
The Patriots had a receiver wide open on nearly every play due to an error in communication from the Lions. You would think that Rob Gronkowski shouldn’t be left wide open up the seam late in the first half, but the defense completely ignored him and gave up an extra three points going into halftime.
Every other person associated with the Detroit Lions organization.
In other news, The Detroit Lions still have a wonderful opportunity to make the playoffs. It won’t be easy to win four in a row, but their next four games are extremely winnable. It’s definitely playoffs or bust for head coach Jim Caldwell and the Detroit Lions.