Lions-Colts Grades: Inconsistent Defense Goes Backward Again

Jordan Wilkins

Getty Jordan Wilkins breaks through the Lions defense.

The Detroit Lions struggled in a big way against the Indianapolis Colts and were inconsistent all afternoon amid a tough 41-21 defeat that proved the team isn’t quite ready for primetime in terms of matching up with better more complete rosters.

As a result of this frustration, the Lions see their grades slip backward this week following the blowout loss, and there were few positive elements from the game to take away aside from a special team group that continues to get it done for the most part.

How do the grades shape up this week? Here’s a look.

Grading Lions Offense vs. Colts


Detroit’s offense took a few steps back this week, but it wasn’t completely their fault. The loss of top wideout Kenny Golladay complicated things for the team, but the Lions had poor play from Matthew Stafford and did not establish the run nor play well up front. It was a bad day all around for the Lions’ offense, who needed to do much more early on to help the team stick around. A 20-7 halftime deficit was unacceptable, and the Lions mistakes were frustrating and backbreaking. All in all, a bad result for the team this week. Marvin Jones played well, but he was one of the only players who can boast that on this day.

Grading Lions Defense vs. Colts


Detroit’s defense did alright to hold the fort early, but gave up too many big plays and did not pressure the passer and adjust as they needed to through the game. They allowed an aging Philip Rivers to pick them apart which was frustrating. Detroit’s defense wasn’t terrible, but they couldn’t generate key stops or have much discipline either with regard to penalties. Not enough of anything good for the team, and a reversal of fortunes from the previous weeks on the field.

Grading Lions Special Teams vs. Colts


Detroit blocked a punt which set up an easy score. Jack Fox punted well, and Matt Prater had the only error of the day, whiffing on a 48 yard field goal that could have changed momentum heading into halftime. Jamal Agnew also had a few nice returns before leaving injured. Detroit didn’t lose the game because of Prater’s miss, though, so it’s hard to dock too much from this group. Brayden Coombs has been a serious bright spot this season for his work with this group and how well they play.

Grading Lions Coaches vs. Colts


For whatever reason, Matt Patricia can’t engineer a win against the best of the best on his schedule. Preparation seems to be lacking in the biggest of games, or the Lions are facing a huge talent dip. The team just didn’t seem to have the motivation and play tight on offense and defense. Darrell Bevell still struggles with feel of the game, and the defense wasn’t great under Cory Undlin this week. The staff doesn’t seem to have the midas touch with regards to the big game and finding a way to put the team over the top. That’s downright troubling.

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