It wasn't completely shocking that the Detroit Lions lost to the St. Louis Rams; both teams were 4-8 and coming off bad losses. But there were a few things that surprised me about the way the Lions lost.
- Very disappointing game from the Lions run defense. After four dominant games, Detroit gave up 203 rushing yards on the day, more than they had in the three previous games combined. In the preview, I was rightfully concerned about Todd Gurley breaking out a long run or two, but that Gurley was able to consistently run against this defense is much more concerning.
- Yes, Aaron Donald is good. Please, let's leave it at that. The topic has been beaten to death.
- Matthew Stafford was under pressure all day, but he wasn't able to manage his way in the pocket like he had over the past month. He ran himself into sacks, and made a lot of rushed, inaccurate throws.
- James Ihedigbo played a lot today, supposedly because of his skills as a run stopper. He proceeded to miss several tackles, turning a handful of 8-yard runs into 20+ yards scampers.
- The Lions seemed to have completely given up on stretching the field. Most of their passes before going into panic mode were bubble screens or quick slants. Obviously, poor protection makes it hard to have the patience to go deep, but the Lions need to take shots.
- TJ Jones had more targets than Calvin Johnson and Eric Ebron. That is not acceptable.
- Aside from getting shook by Tavon Austin early in the game, I thought Stephen Tulloch played one of his best games of the season.
- Yes, the chop block call on Theo Riddick was terrible. Yes, it was extremely costly. Yes, it could have changed the trajectory of the rest of the game. There's no 'but' to this bullet point, just really terrible officiating and a much more egregious error than the face mask call last week.