The injury-riddled Detroit Lions continue to limp to the finish line, getting gashed through the air by Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers.
Down many starters and facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the Detroit Lions made a game of it in the second half. Still, their gutted roster was unable to keep pace with one of the NFL’s best passing attacks.
Jameis Winston threw for 458 yards and four touchdowns and receiver Breshad Perriman caught three scores as the Buccaneers easily handled the Lions 38-17 on Sunday at Ford Field. The Lions have now lost seven straight and 10 of their last 11.
At 3-10-1 and with just two games remaining, the Lions are guaranteed to finish with fewer wins than last season when they had a 6-10 record.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring on their second drive when Winston found Perriman for a 34-yard score right down the middle of the field. Perriman beat cornerback Rashaan Melvin with ease on the play, who had been battling a rib injury.
The Buccaneers followed that series with a five-play, 99-yard drive capped by receiver Scott Miller’s first-ever NFL touchdown, on a 33-yard strike from Winston. The Bucs’ starter finished the first quarter with 221 passing yards.
The Lions conversely accumulated just a single total yard of offense in the first frame. At halftime, the Lions trailed 21-3, being outgained by the Buccaneers 336-56 in total yardage.
The Lions started to gain some momentum in the third quarter, connecting on 40-plus yard receptions by receivers Danny Amendola and Chris Lacy. Rookie running back Wes Hills, playing in his first NFL game, scored his second touchdown of the game to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 24-17 at the end of the third quarter.
However, the Lions’ comeback attempted was squashed late in the final stanza. Rookie cornerback and Michigan native Sean Murphy-Bunting returned an interception by Lions starter David Blough 70-yards for a touchdown, giving the Bucs a 31-17 lead late in the fourth quarter. The Lions would not score again.
In his third straight start, Blough finished 24/43 for 260 yards and three picks for Detroit.
Amendola led the Lions with eight receptions for 102 yards. Chris Godwin caught five passes for 122 yards for Tampa Bay before leaving in the third quarter with a leg injury.
The 3-10-1 Detroit Lions play their final road game of the season next Sunday, December 22 at 4:05 P.M. EST against the 5-9 Denver Broncos.