Lions Grades: Defense Flunks Amid Another Ugly Day

Will Fuller

Getty Will Fuller burns the Lions for a score.

The Detroit Lions were stuffed like birds again on Thanksgiving Day in predictable, blowout fashion against the Houston Texans off a quick turnaround in Week 12.

Last week, the team failed in every single way possible amid being shut out in a humbling way. This week, the damage wasn’t nearly as bad amid another blowout loss, but it was pretty darn close. Detroit’s defense was the culprits of a major failure this week, but the offense and other positions weren’t that far behind in their struggle.

How do the grades shape up this week? Here’s a look at another ugly ledger and report card.

Lions Offensive Grade vs. Texans


Detroit put the ball on the ground 3 times and struggled to have any shred of consistency with the run or the pass on a ugly afternoon. At the very least, the Lions scored this week, but they didn’t score nearly enough. Milking the clock and coming away with a mere field goal was perhaps the worst show of the entire season. The Lions needed a bit more on this day and couldn’t avoid their usual mistakes. It was bad news and a bad grade as a result.

Lions Defensive Grade vs. Texans


The defense didn’t stop the Texans, who did whatever they wanted on the day and moved up and down the field at will. Detroit barely touched Deshaun Watson, and they certainly didn’t generate much pressure on ball carriers or wideouts to create consistent turnovers like the Texans did. This is bad for the Lions because Matt Patricia was supposed to be an elite defensive coach, but his defense keeps getting exposed week in and week out. Is this rock bottom for this group? It could be, but that feels like it is still weeks away with as bad as they have played.

Lions Special Teams Grade vs. Texans


Usually, the Lions win with special teams. This week, they didn’t lose because of it but it was not a banner performance whatsoever. Jack Fox blocked a kickoff out of bounds leading to a fast Houston score, Matt Prater was perfect but Detroit wasn’t able to get anything going on special teams to help them in a close game early. It wasn’t the worst performance, but it certainly wasn’t the best the team has had this season, either. Just an average day.

Lions Coaches Grade vs. Texans


On offense and defense, the team lacked any semblance of a plan once again and looked lost. Matt Patricia didn’t do anything as a boss or a leader on this day whatsoever. The staff continues to let the team down in a big way on the field. The decision to run Jonathan Williams leading to an early fumble is on the staff as well, which helped swing the early momentum of the game. Patricia and company needed a better game to make a case to stay and they quite simply did not get it.

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