Lions Turn the Ball Over Six Times in 20-6 Loss to 49ers

San Francisco cruised to a 20-6 win over the Lions today by forcing 6 turnovers and keeping the Lions' offense out of the end zone.  It became painfully obvious during the course of the game why Drew Stanton has waited this long to start his first ever game in the NFL, because he was not good.  The entire offense was bad, but Stanton looked out of place on many plays, making either bad reads or just terrible throws.  That's not to say that the team is any better with Daunte Culpepper, but man, Stanton really played poorly today, turning the ball over 4 times himself.

Early on the Lions looked good and Stanton led the offense down the field for eight minutes on the opening drive of the game.  Detroit only managed to get a field goal out of it, but it was a good drive nonetheless.  That was about it for the offense, though.  Turnovers either put the defense in a bad spot or derailed promising drives, though San Francisco only led 6-3 at halftime thanks to the defense's relatively good play and a blocked field goal.

Like we have seen many times this season, the defense struggled on a couple drives in the second half and the offense completely disappeared.  Drew Stanton was eventually replaced by Daunte Culpepper, who led the Lions to a field goal and nothing else.  It was just a really disappointing game overall, especially for the offense (as good as Calvin Johnson played, he still made some bad plays, fumbling the ball twice) and the 49ers went on to win 20-6.

The Lions' final game of the season is next week against Chicago.  Probably the thing most fans will be keeping an eye on, though, is what the St. Louis Rams do against the 49ers.  Both Tampa Bay and Cleveland won today, meaning the Lions are basically guaranteed to have the first, second, or third pick of the draft regardless of whether they win or lose against the Bears.  There are only two teams with three wins, the Buccaneers and Chiefs, and it's highly unlikely that Tampa Bay's strength of schedule will drop below Detroit's.  Kansas City has a tougher schedule than Detroit currently, but only by a couple games.  That leaves the Rams with one win and Detroit with two.  As a result, a Lions win over Chicago will only really have a big effect on the draft lineup if St. Louis beats San Francisco.  As Tampa Bay showed against New Orleans, upsets can happen, but the Rams looked pretty bad today against Arizona.  Basically, the Lions are currently in position to have the second pick of the draft unless the Rams win next week, and since that doesn't exactly seem all that likely, it would be great if the team could end the season by upsetting Jay Cutler and the Bears.

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