The Lions were coming off their biggest victory in a lot of years last Monday night...and they were facing a red hot 4-1 49'er team on a short week....so there were built in excuses...but I don't really buy them.
The Lions lost 25-19 on Saturday because Matthew Stafford was really off and they seemed to refuse to throw the ball Calvin Johnson in the red zone.
For the first time this season, Johnson finished without a TD reception.
I mean, there were other things the Lions did wrong...letting Frank Gore run all over them for 141 yards certainly didn't help, but when it all comes down...Stafford simply missed too many throws--especially in the fourth quarter.
28 of 50 for 293 yards, 2 TD's and no interceptions looks pretty impressive...but he simply missed far too many open guys. He needs to be completing passes on average in the high sixties, not just above fifty.
The Lions returned to a completely pedestrian running attack, as Best managed only 30 yards but rarely ever had any room to run. In fact, Maurice Morris had a better average per carry.
The offensive line allowed Stafford to get hit much too often and just couldn't get enough push in the ground game. The fact that the Lions were still even in the game after having to settle consistently for field goals was probably more than the average fan should have expected.
The defense could not stop the run...which is really weird, because it seems the strength of our defense is generating a pass rush (but rarely getting any sacks) and short yardage situations (but typically giving up big gains.)
How will we be able to stop Matt Ryan (who's a lot better than Alex Smith) or Micheal Turner (who's arguably better than Frank Gore)?
I'm not sure. 5-0 was nice, but now I'm starting to get really worried about the next few weeks if the Lions can't shore up the deficiencies (which were supposed to be their strengths.) These are issues that have shown up every week...except for Kansas City...
I hope the offense goes back to it's strength (Calvin Johnson) and then we can move on to our new problems (Coaching handshakes.)