The Detroit Lions didn’t have many familiar players to suit up on Sunday, and as another effort stalled against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it became clear that it was yet another bad afternoon for the team in what’s been a trend of them lately.
On both sides of the ball, the Lions couldn’t get the job done enough to win another close game, and by the time things had wound down, it was yet another blowout. There’s no grading on curves here, so the team once again fails on most accounts for their work this week.
Here’s a look at grading the Lions for another frustrating loss.
The Lions got off to a miserable start in the game and couldn’t so much as move the ball most of the first half. The second half, they came back to life a bit and managed to get a few touchdowns from little-known Wes Hills. David Blough didn’t make nearly enough big plays, however, and the Lions scuffled and had too many turnovers on offense. The late outburst prevented another failure, but it was close for this group, who didn’t do anything to help the cause early. Yes, half the offense is hurt, but where was the same fire from the second half in the first quarter?
It’s becoming harder and harder to give the Lions a pass for all the players they have hurt on defense given the team has underwhelmed on that side of the ball for the better part of the entire season. This week, Jameis Winston carved up Detroit again and again early on, and did just enough late to hold onto the win. The Lions didn’t make enough big plays in order to have a chance in this game. The defense is just miserable. It’s probably safer to pencil them in for automatic failures the rest of the way until they prove otherwise.
Tough to blame or credit special teams at all this week, so it’s fair to give them a flat grade right in the middle. Sam Martin had some nice punts and Matt Prater made a field goal. Other than that, there wasn’t much for this group to do in order to impact the outcome. If the Lions were a better team, maybe they could rely on their special teams to play a bigger winning role. For now, special teams are simply out there for the Lions.
Folks keep saying it’s hard to blame the coaching staff given how many players are injured, but the reality is, the Lions should be able to compete for a full 60 minutes no matter who is on the field. Instead, on this day, they got off to the worst start possible and managed to fall flat right out of the gates. A crazy comeback aided them late, but the biggest question remains why the Lions have such pitiful starts under Matt Patricia. Offensively and defensively, nobody got the job done whatsoever. It was another complete failure from the coaching staff in terms of preparation and execution.