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Quick thoughts on the Lions' big loss to the Vikings

A recap of everything that went wrong for the Detroit Lions against the Minnesota Vikings.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

  • It's hard to imagine just a few weeks ago we were talking about how the Detroit Lions' linebacking crew would be the strength of the team. Detroit has been awful at defending plays designed to keep the linebackers unbalanced. Draws, screens and play-action are killing the defense. DeAndre Levy's return will obviously help, but depth is now a big concern.
  • The defensive problems go well beyond that, unfortunately. No sort of consistency between the levels of the defense, whether it's defensive ends failing to contain, defensive tackles taking the wrong gaps or cornerbacks having their back turned to the incoming ball.
  • A QUICK POSITIVE: Ameer Abdullah is a nightmare for opposing defenses. Opponents can double Calvin Johnson, but Abdullah as a receiving threat is almost impossible to defend. Can't put a linebacker on him, and you probably don't want to pull a corner or safety away from Johnson and Golden Tate to deal with him. However, Detroit got completely away from that in the second half.
  • Cornelius Lucas: yuck.
  • All offensive linemen: yuck.
  • Matthew Stafford was the team's leading rusher on Sunday. In case you forgot, he was the pile of bloody clothes sitting on the 20-yard line in the fourth quarter.
  • I'm really, really trying to dig deep to find a silver lining in this game, but it just isn't there. The Lions were severely outplayed by two mediocre-at-best opponents to start the season. Both sides of the ball look like they've taken a big step back from last year, and most didn't think that was possible with the offense.
  • Speaking of the offense, I was shocked to see how lost they looked as they went into desperation mode with under five minutes left. Most teams hurry to the line, have plays all ready to go and have all of the players on the same page. Heck, the Lions did that well last week. But in this game, the Lions were forced to use a timeout (not to stop the clock, mind you), they had broken plays and just looked lost.
  • The only thing worse than how bad the Lions looked through two games was how little things changed week-to-week. The offense and defense suffered from the same exact problems, and that either means the coaching staff is failing to do their jobs well, or the talent problems with the team (specifically at offensive line and linebacking) are more of a long-term project.
  • Lastly, I just wanted to thank the people at Mercury Bar East for hosting me and my humongous laptop for the Lions game. I met some wonderful and passionate Detroit Lions fans, and I hope my curmudgeonly demeanor didn't depress them too much (although reading this certainly will).

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