The Lions played Minnesota tough today just like they usually do, but the Vikings won, 24-10, because Detroit made stupid mistake after stupid mistake. Although Minnesota deserves credit for taking advantage of the Lions' mistakes, Detroit lost today because they couldn't stop shooting themselves in the foot.
Case in point: Detroit took a 7-0 lead after Corey Williams picked off Brett Favre and set up a TD pass to Tony Scheffler. All of the momentum was on the Lions' side, which was evident after the defense made a stop. That momentum disappeared after Stefan Logan muffed the ensuing punt return, however, and Minnesota scored on a wide-open pass to Percy Harvin on the very next play.
The Lions kept themselves in the game, but they could never get over the hump and make things close. That was partly because a penalty negated every big play, including two interceptions. The referees did Detroit no favors whatsoever, which is no surprise considering where the game was played, but the Lions made far too many mistakes of their own to even think about overcoming shoddy officiating.
Defensively, the Lions played relatively well outside of a few big plays. Unfortunately, playing relatively well means nothing if you do allow those big plays, which is how Minnesota ended up with 24 points. Adrian Peterson had an 80-yard touchdown run, for example, after being contained for much of the day. Brett Favre didn't do a whole lot and looked off, but he found Harvin wide open on that aforementioned touchdown pass (from 24 yards out) right after the Logan fumble.
Offensively, the Lions just looked lost out there with Shaun Hill at quarterback. I don't know if the coaches don't have faith in him or what, but the play calling was atrocious for the third straight week. Once again Hill only looked good when the Lions ran the no huddle toward the end of the game, but even then Hill capped off two solid drives with a pair of end zone interceptions. To say the least, the Lions need Matthew Stafford, because I don't know if they can win with Hill at the helm, at least not with the game plan Linehan has used so far this season with Hill at QB.
Next week, the Lions are once again on the road against a divisional foe, as they square off against the Green Bay Packers. Considering how great the Packers have looked this season, it's tough not to just chalk this up as a loss -- with or without Stafford. It will especially be tough to be optimistic about this game if Jahvid Best isn't healthy, as he left today's game with a toe/foot injury. Let's hope he's ready to play next Sunday, and let's hope that we finally get some good news about Stafford next week.