Lions Takeaways: Detroit’s Draft Wins With Loss to Broncos

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia gestures to the Lions in Denver.

The Detroit Lions had nothing to play for but draft position when they got set to take on the Denver Broncos, and even such, the team competed hard in defeat.

Most of the afternoon, the Broncos moved the ball and while the Lions had a few drives that looked promising, they didn’t do nearly enough to get over the top, losing yet another game in a row. Denver made a few more plays on both sides of the ball in order to do just enough to edge Detroit 27-17 in a late season contest.

The glass half empty crowd will bemoan another loss, but the glass half full crowd will realize the Lions have skyrocketed within their draft positioning for 2020.

Here are some lessons for the team from this latest defeat.

Jamal Agnew is a Building Block

No matter what happened to the Lions, Agnew continues to look like an impressive player that can impact the game on special teams. If he can stay healthy, Agnew should have a bright future in Detroit in which he can be a big play player for the specialty teams. Agnew doesn’t do much for the defense, but with what he can do in the return game, that doesn’t matter. He’s racked up the big plays in his first years in the league, showing how good he can be and has become. Finally, the Lions have solved one of their major needs.

The Defensive Line Needs Help

This is relevant to Detroit’s interest given the number of big name players who could be around when Detroit selects high in the draft. The Lions don’t have anything up front, and the team will have to build and reconstruct this group. Detroit needs to pressure the quarterback and they need to stop the run. This didn’t happen against the Broncos and rookie Drew Lock as well as Philip Lindsay. It only serves to prove how badly the team needs some reinforcements in a major way up front.

This Lions Loss Ended up a Draft Win

Detroit moved up to the No. 3 position in the draft with the loss, and a couple of overtime wins by New York and Miami helped them along the way. Detroit needs to continue to try to move as high as they can in the draft, so the defeat is no sweat for those folks who want to see the team end up with a very high selection in the draft. It’s a total case of when a loss is actually a win.

Lion? Kenny Golladay, WR. Even though Detroit struggled offensively, Golladay showed up with a solid day catching the ball. He made some big plays and will remain a huge player to watch moving forward to see how far his star might climb for 2020. Golladay was already a Pro Bowl snub, but the good news is the more he does on the field, the more he can set himself apart as a top option moving forward.

Lamb? The defense. Detroit’s whole defense didn’t get the job done again and they haven’t routinely down the stretch this year. A few more stops could have won Detroit the game, and that was the case a ton of times this season. The Lions’ defense has managed to let the team down huge and they did once again on this day. It’s the difference in a win or a loss.

Stat to Note: 95, the number of passing yards the Lions had on the day. It’s not reasonable to expect much out of Detroit starting David Blough at quarterback, but the team just couldn’t get over the hump in terms of completing passes. To win on the road, a team needs explosive plays and the Lions didn’t get any in the passing game on this day. Ugly all around.

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