The Detroit Lions lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 37-27 on Sunday. Here are my three main takeaways from the game:
The Lions have to fix their pass defense
The Lions' pass defense let them down in a big way yet again on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns and was unstoppable in key moments of this game. What's more, Antonio Brown had 7 catches for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns. As noted by MLive, the Lions have now allowed eight players to go for at least 100 yards receiving this season. Quite simply, the secondary is awful in pass coverage, and the linebackers have had their issues as well. If the Lions even want to think about making a playoff run, the pass defense has got to get better. Right now, it seems like it's getting even worse as time goes on.
The pass rush needs to be better as well
Part of the reason Roethlisberger had so much success is because the Lions really didn't put a ton of pressure on him. He was sacked only once, which is quite shocking when you consider that the Steelers have been one of the worst teams in the NFL when it comes to protecting their quarterback. It's true that the Steelers used quick passes quite effectively to negate the defensive line's pass rush, and it's true that the secondary's issues have caused problems for the D-line. However, this is a matchup the Lions should have dominated. Instead, the Steelers kept the Detroit D-line at bay. With how much hype they receive, the defensive line needs to start producing on a more consistent basis going forward.
Jim Schwartz picked a bad time to be aggressive
I already touched on this on Sunday night, but I still don't get why Jim Schwartz thought that was the right situation to finally fake a field goal. The kick would have only been from 27 yards out, and it would have put the Lions on top by 7 points in the fourth quarter. What's more, the conditions weren't exactly ideal for Sam Martin -- a holder/punter who never runs the ball -- to take on Steelers defenders.
Of all the times to be aggressive and call for a fake, that seemed like just about the worst possible situation. Perhaps Schwartz thought the Steelers would be caught off guard for that very reason, and had it worked we'd obviously be praising him. However, going for the fake there just seemed like an unnecessarily risky move for the Lions given the situation. I like that Schwartz has shied away from being conservative at times this season, but that was a bad time to suddenly be quite so aggressive.