Detroit Lions: 10 Observations from the shutout loss at Carolina

Matt Patricia of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Matt Patricia of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

6. Again, the ‘M’ word

Momentum. The Lions can’t seem to create it, build on it, harness it, or even hold onto it when it falls in their lap and they’re wearing Velcro gloves and Stickum. This is equally true on a week-to-week basis as well as play-to-play.

A completely listless performance against a team on a five game losing streak, missing their two offensive stars, and starting an undrafted QB recently promoted from the XFL? Again, going into Thanksgiving with a feeling of momentum just doesn’t seem to be in the DNA of this team.

7. Matthew Stafford’s optimism seems to be running low

Over twelve seasons and 161 starts, Matthew Stafford undoubtedly has taken his share of lumps, but until Sunday, the Lions at least found a way to score at least once in every game he played. That streak ended on Sunday, as the Lions were shutout for the first time since 2009, and the first time in Stafford’s career (he was sidelined with injury in a 26-0 loss to Green Bay).

Playing through an injured thumb and without his top two weapons, Stafford went 18-33 passing for 178 yards, with no touchdowns or turnovers. His receivers dropped several catchable passes, his run game gained less than 2.5 yards per carry, and his offensive line got him pummeled to the tune of five sacks.

Stafford has remained remarkably positive and professional throughout his entire career no matter the circumstances, but his demeanor and body language on Sunday showed signs of finally wearing thin. After a dozen years of this, why wouldn’t it?