The Detroit Lions had a faint glimmer of hope to continue their potential push for playoff relevance, but as in other weeks, that fell apart badly against the Dallas Cowboys.
In spite of a great start to the game, the Lions simply couldn’t maintain anything against the Cowboys defensively. Dallas marched the ball at will against the Lions most of the day and the team just couldn’t force enough key turnovers or stops in order to make the game closer in the end.
While Detroit’s offense fought, they came up woefully short once again. Jeff Driskel led a few scoring drives, but the team was not nearly consistent enough to overcome an avalanche of points. The Cowboys pulled away, then held on for a fairly easy 35-27 victory on the road.
Here’s a look at more lessons from the tough loss.
It’s Time for Lions to Tank
With tough pre-game news on the health of Matthew Stafford, it’s time for the Lions to fold their tent for 2019. There’s no honor in doing such a thing for those in charge, but it’s time for the team to simply cut their losses and decide to move on and play for draft positioning next year. The team is simply far too injured at this point, and victories would be hollow. Another high draft pick would give the Lions a great shot at restocking the talent coffers in the years to come, especially on a needy defensive side of the ball.
It’s a tough decision and not something which is likely to happen, but for the 3-6-1 Lions, it’s time to embrace the tank. The team has done nothing to give any faith they can compete, so it’s time to play for positioning. Potential prizes exist at the top of the draft like Chase Young, who could help immensely.
Bo Scarbrough Belongs in the NFL
Tough to understand how Scarbrough was never on an NFL regular season roster prior to this point, but he managed to make a big statement about belonging with some huge plays on the afternoon for the Lions. As a whole, Scarbrough rushed for 55 yards and 1 impressive touchdown. As a whole, Scarbrough looked like he belonged more than several other of the runners the Lions have trotted out from the practice squad in recent weeks. It’s nice to see the Lions get someone to step up and take advantage of an opportunity. Scarbrough proved he belongs in the league with good cuts, vision and toughness in the backfield. Detroit could have found something in a lost afternoon.
The Lions Defense is Putrid
It’s true that the Cowboys have an elite offense and make moving the ball look easy at times. It can also be true that the Lions offered them little resistance on the defensive side. Yes, the team has had injuries, but the entire game plan is flawed at this point. Allowing a team to go for 509 total yards is tough to do, but the Lions have done it far too often this season. One year after the Lions defense helped hold them in several games, they are being flat out embarrassed on that side of the ball. It’s tough not to blame Matt Patricia for not getting the job done, especially as he was branded a defensive genius coming into town. It’s also fair to wonder if Patricia has been figured out as a coordinator.
Don’t Blame Lions Fans for Quitting
The game sounded more like a Dallas home contest given the number of Cowboys fans that were making noise. Detroit also didn’t see much support from their home fans. At this point, nobody can be blamed for giving up on the team. The Lions haven’t exactly given the folks many reasons to cheer so far down the stretch. Things might get worse before they get better for the woeful Lions, who saw flat out apathy take over from the fans this week. No reason to blame folks who choose to spend their hard earned money doing something else than being frustrated on Sunday afternoons.
Lion? Marvin Jones, WR. It’s been a special season for Jones, and regardless of the fact that Stafford is out, things have continued with Jones. Another 2 touchdowns on the day for 8 touchdowns thus far this season has been quite special for the Lions, and Jones is remaining consistent no matter who or what has come his way.
Lamb? Rashaan Melvin, CB. This season has been brutal for Melvin. If he’s not out of position, he’s making a critical mistake for the Lions in terms of positioning in the secondary. The year started out decently, but it’s gotten progressively worse. Cornerback is just another one of Detroit’s huge offseason needs that will have to be fulfilled, and with a player a bit more consistent than Melvin.
Stat to Note: 11, the number of penalties the Lions took on the day. They lost 89 yards on the calls, and were once again far and away the most undisciplined team on the field all afternoon. That’s not good enough to win, and it’s not good enough to compete. Discipline is the sign of a poorly coached team, and the Lions have been a mess all season long.
He Said It: “My job is to go out there and win games and that’s what I’m focused on.” -Jeff Driskel. Afterward, Driskel admitted all the players need to look in the mirror and see what more they could do to help the team win. It’s a smart sentiment from the backup, who certainly hasn’t been the team’s biggest problem since taking over on the field.