The Detroit Lions haven’t been able to put their best foot forward down the stretch this season, and their pain continued with yet another frustrating loss on the road in Week 16.
Detroit didn’t get much done offensively and defensively against the Denver Broncos as part of their 27-17 defeat, and while plenty can be blamed on the injuries the team has sustained, there were defensive breakdowns, penalty issues and other similar frustrations from 2019 coming up once again.
How should the team be graded for this effort, their last on the road for 2019? Here’s a look at the latest grades for the team.
The Lions showed some flashes in spots with solid play from Kenny Golladay and some burst in the run game here and there, but overall, the group didn’t execute and the team simply didn’t have enough consistency in order to get the job done in terms of scoring enough to win the game. If the Lions had a little bit more, they could have won. It wasn’t to be, and the offense as a whole from the front on down wasn’t good or consistent enough. Mostly, it had to do with personnel, which should figure to be better in 2020 with health and change.
Detroit’s offense may not have been good, but their defense was absolutely miserable again. There was no pressure on Drew Lock and the team managed to fall apart in the trenches against the run as well. The secondary made a few plays, but there were still periodic breakdowns. It was emblematic of the effort which should get wholesale changes for the defensive staff this offseason. This group played a big role in the team’s defeat this week on the field, and as a result, they fail yet again.
It was good to see the Lions get another impact play on special teams from Jamal Agnew, who returned a punt for an electrifying score. Detroit also got some field goals from Matt Prater. Sadly, the special teams can’t score all game or else the Lions might have had a chance to win this game. The special teams played well enough to help the team stay close which was a positive. Give them credit for this no matter as all the trouble went on around them elsewhere on the roster.
The Lions came to play in the game and didn’t look to be playing as if they were checked out. That in of itself is a win for Matt Patricia. The defensive staff drags this group down as a whole with their troubles, and Darrell Bevell isn’t working with a ton on the offensive staff. The head coach is coming back, but the reality is, plenty of his staff on defense is probably gone. Efforts like this, even as the team has sustained crazy losses to injury, are part of the biggest reason why.