The Detroit Lions lost to the Buffalo Bills by a score of 17-14 on Sunday. Here are my three main takeaways from the game:
The offensive line is officially a tire fire
Matthew Stafford was sacked six more times on Sunday, and he was under constant pressure. Although some of that was his own doing by holding on to the ball too long, the offensive line was really a mess. Case in point:
Matthew Stafford, by the way, said the Bills blitzed twice today, both run blitzes. Still sacked him 6 times.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 5, 2014
Matthew Stafford has been sacked 17 times through five games. Last year, he was sacked 23 times on the season.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 5, 2014
Clearly, right tackle wasn't the only issue on the offensive line, as LaAdrian Waddle returned on Sunday. That didn't make any real difference for the O-line, though, as Stafford took hit after hit on Sunday. Yes, the Bills have a talented defensive front, and Jim Schwartz devised an outstanding game plan, but Stafford is going to get injured if he keeps taking sacks at this rate.
Matthew Stafford has to play better
The O-line may be to blame for some of his struggles, but Stafford was extremely unimpressive on Sunday. As mentioned, he took too long to get rid of the ball at times, and he was quite inaccurate on several throws. His numbers don't look that bad -- 18-for-31, 221 yards, one touchdown and one interception -- but a lot of the offense's struggles can be traced back to him.
There's still work to be done on defense
Early in Sunday's game, the Lions basically had their way with Kyle Orton. As he became more comfortable and shook off the rust, however, he really carved up the Lions defense. He finished with 308 yards on 43 attempts, one touchdown and one interception. The secondary definitely could have played better, but the lack of a pass rush was really more concerning. The Lions only sacked Orton twice, and it just didn't seem like they were consistently putting enough pressure on him. Maybe my judgment was clouded by what the Bills managed to do with their defensive line, but it would have been nice to see something like that out of the Lions.