The Detroit Lions struggled from the moment the ball was kicked off on Sunday afternoon against the Minnesota Vikings, and it led to arguably their worst performance of the entire season playing out on the field.
Detroit struggled early and often against the Vikings and it was arguably the worst effort ever seen in the Matt Patricia era with the Lions which could be a huge indictment on his future. The team couldn’t stop the Vikings unless they stopped themselves, and offensively, nothing got going whatsoever for Detroit.
As a result of this, it all adds up to some awful grades for the staff and for the team this week. Here’s a look at how everything shakes out after Week 9.
Grading Lions’ Offense vs. Vikings
The Lions, quite simply, did nothing right on offense. Matthew Stafford was a walking turnover. The team couldn’t run the ball or get anything consistent with the pass. When they did switch things up with D’Andre Swift, they didn’t use him nearly enough. The creativity was lacking from Darell Bevell as well during key points of the game. This was a poor impression at the midway point for the Lions. Kenny Golladay was missing, but the Lions should have been much more prepared and found a way around such trouble. It was the worst offensive performance of the season for the Lions and it earns them a miserable grade.
Grading Lions’ Defense vs. Vikings
If there was a grade lower than an ‘F’ this week, the Lions should have earned it. The play of the defense was pathetic. They allowed Dalvin Cook to slice and dice them for over 200 yards, while also allowing Kirk Cousins to look like a competent quarterback in tossing for 3 scores. The team didn’t generate a takeaway or put much pressure at all on Cousins, and it was downhill from there. Detroit was out toughed on defense and in the trenches and embarrassed up front. On the back end, the Vikings got nearly whatever they wanted. Just a horrible day for a group that was supposed to be much better this season.
Grading Lions’ Special Teams vs. Vikings
If there’s a single bright spot this season for the Lions, it has to be the coaching of the special teams by Brayden Coombs and the play of this group. Against Minnesota, the Lions blocked 2 punts, which should have been enough to keep them in the game if not for their inept offense. Jack Fox also punted well. Matt Prater has looked shaky with yet another long field goal miss, but in recent weeks the Lions special teams has managed to keep them in a few blowout games.
Grading Lions’ Coaching Staff vs. Vikings
A horrible week for Matt Patricia, Cory Undlin and Darrell Bevell. The Lions’ staff has been unimpressive this season and it culminated in this frustrating effort. It seems as if the team’s entire staff has been frustrating at several different points this season, but none have been frustrating at once. That changed in a huge way this week with the play of the team. This game felt like a tipping point for the entire staff. The Lions are in dire straits moving forward and they might have no choice but to sack the staff eventually considering efforts like this. From 10 men on the field once again to an offense that lacked creativity to a coach that seemingly is lost at sea, the Lions are in deep with little way out. A total failure.