Detroit Lions Week 17 Review: The Good and the Bad

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Dec 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

Ndamukong Suh

Suh’s on the field performance was the opposite of bad. He certainly didn’t dominate like we’re prone to seeing, but he ended with seven total tackles and a pass deflection. His most notable play didn’t show up on the stat sheet, however. After appearing to intentionally step on Rodgers’ already injured calf, Suh has faced plenty of criticism for his allegedly dirty play.

The play will likely get reviewed by the NFL and Suh could end up facing a fine and/or suspension which could keep him out of next Sunday’s wild card game versus the Dallas Cowboys. If Suh does indeed end up with a suspension and the Lions lose, this may be the last time we’ve seen Ndamukong Suh in Honolulu Blue.

Matthew Stafford

The Lions absolutely needed Stafford on his “A” game to beat the Packers on the road. Instead, he brought it for just two or three drives. Stafford got off to a slow start and even threw eight straight incompletions at one point. It’s clear that he’s just not comfortable playing in cold weather.

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A few throws left me scratching my head wondering how a pro quarterback could overshoot a wide open receiver so badly. For instance, on a designed wide receiver screen, Stafford somehow managed to throw a side-armed bullet into the third row.

Cassius Vaughn

Not much of a surprise that Cassius Vaughn didn’t fare well going up against Packers receiver Randall Cobb. Still, Vaughn needed to do a lot better to limit the damage from Cobb who ended up scoring two touchdowns yesterday.

The Lions have had some bad luck at the nickelback position, and the Packers were smart to target Vaughn over the middle.

Special Teams

The Lions allowed a punt return touchdown for the first time since 2012 yesterday, which gave the Packers their first score of the game. Like I mentioned in my Lions/Packers preview last week, the Lions needed to play a clean game on all three phases to win. That hope ended fairly early after Detroit’s early blunder on special teams.

Sam Martin had a rough day as well. On Green Bay’s punt return TD, Martin’s punt was short and right smack dab in the middle of the field, giving Micah Hyde plenty of running room. Later on, Martin would send a kickoff out of bounds giving the Packers the ball at their own 40-yard line.

Honorable Mentions:

Garrett Reynolds, Reggie Bush, Golden Tate, Corey Fuller, James Ihedigbo, Jason Jones, Ashlee Palmer