Matthew Stafford dropped back to pass around 54 times today, and he was hurried, hit, or sacked on about 70% of those plays. That stat alone sums up how today's game against the Vikings went for the Lions, because Minnesota pummeled Detroit and beat them up both statistically and physically. The Vikings out-gained the Lions in the total yards department by a whopping number of 492-297 and won the game by a score of 27-10. It seemed like at least 10 different players got hurt for the Lions during this game, including a few defensive backs, a receiver or two, and also Stephen Peterman, who had to be carted off to the locker room. There were others who got banged up but either returned to the game or stayed in, and in general it's evident that this team is hurting right now quite a bit. It was a rough day for the Lions in more ways than one, and I imagine the injury report will be quite big next week.
The Lions' biggest problem in the first half of this game was a lack of offensive production. The defense gave up a ton of yards, but Minnesota only managed to score 10 points because of turnovers and a big fourth-down stand by the Lions' defense. The issue was that Minnesota's defense was playing an amazing game, containing the Lions' rushing game and not even giving Matthew Stafford a chance to effectively pass the ball. He had defenders in his face about 1 second after the snap on most plays, and although he managed to escape pressure on a few occasions, the Vikings just didn't let him do anything. The offensive line played terrible and Stafford paid the price.
Minnesota came out and started the second half with a fumble recovery on the first play of the third quarter and a touchdown run on the very next play. It looked like the Lions were going to fall apart and get blown out like we have seen so many times this season, but Detroit answered with a solid drive that was capped off by a touchdown pass to Will Heller. That got the Lions within 7 points of Minnesota, but the Vikings eventually put the game out of reach thanks to more solid defense and a bunch of big plays made possible by Brett Favre. It didn't help that Lions receivers dropped quite a few passes yet again, because the offense needed to play perfect to have a shot at winning on this day.
Next up for the Lions is a home game against one of the teams that is just as bad as them, the Cleveland Browns. There will be a quick turnaround after that game with Thanksgiving coming up the following week. The Packers will come to Ford Field just four days later, making for what will be the Lions' third game in 11 days. With the way injuries piled up today, it will be important for this team to get healthy quickly and not get banged up any more next week against Cleveland. If that happens, Detroit may have a tough time even fielding a team when Green Bay comes to town.