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Lions vs Titans: What just happened?

Analyzing the Lions' first loss of the year.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Ugh. That's really all you can say after whatever that was. The Lions certainly did not produce like many hoped they would after beating the Colts in Week 1. The Lions would lose an ugly heart breaker to the Titans, 16-15. Now that I'm done crying and my wife has convinced me that it's all going to be ok, here are my thoughts on today's game.

Flag Day

This just in. Henceforth, Flag Day will be moved from its normal date of June 14th to September 18th. At least in Detroit, that is. If it seemed as though officials had their hands firmly planted near their holsters all day like they were in the old west, it's because that's what happened. For the most part, both teams gave reason to see the yellow flag. But it was Detroit that worked together as a team to garner 17 of the 29 penalties in this game. You want to know place the blame on something? Here it is. This is why the Lions lost. Well part of it I guess.

Some people actually survived

The other is that the Lions lost a player to injury on every other drive. First Ezekiel Ansah, then Antwione Williams, then Ameer Abdullah, then Kyle Van Noy and finally Riley Reiff. Although Reiff did come back in the game, the Lions losing their leading rusher and their best defensive player obviously killed a lot of momentum. Let's also not forget that DeAndre Levy was also hurt coming into this game. The Lions better hope and pray or do whatever they have to do to make sure they get at least half of these guys back next week. There's no way you want to face Aaron Rodgers with Thurston Armbrister. No way in hell.

The defense was better, until it wasn't

Despite the injuries, the Lions defense looked a whole lot better in Week 2 than they did in Week 1. You can attribute that to playing Marcus Mariota instead of Andrew Luck. The team held the Titans out of the end zone until the end of the third quarter. Not bad I suppose. But when injuries began to couple with mindless penalties and Mariota realized the Lions have no linebackers, everything went downhill from there, evidenced by the normally not-so-great Titans offense cutting through the Lions defense on their final drive.

Bronze Tate

I'm betting that I'll never have to write something about Golden Tate like this again. Or hoping. The usually money Tate had himself a really bad game. Probably the worst of his career. It's a shame, because if it would have been a slightly better game, the theme of this article might be different. On at least three occasions, Tate had the chance to grab a game changing reception and he uncharacteristically dropped all three of them. He has to be better next week. Two catches for 13 yards is unacceptable from a player that is supposed to be the Lions No. 1 receiver.


Dang it, Eric. Gosh darn it, Mr. Ebron. That aw-diddley-ful. We're not mad at you Eric. We're just disappointed. Other parental stuff. Eric Ebron had his moments on Sunday. He recorded a masterful catch that was behind him in the fourth quarter to give the Lions another chance. He also had three other catches for 53 yards. Not bad.

I almost forgot, he got called on two huge flags that wiped out two Lions touchdowns. The second one wasn't as bad as it seemed. It was a poor call. That's why Ebron is grounded for a week with no phone privileges, instead of the initial two weeks that were discussed.

Good Stuff

There were good things that happened in this game. Theo Riddick and Abdullah looked great again until Abdullah went down. Marvin Jones continues to show that he is absolutely legit. His eight receptions for 118 yards were beautiful. Anquan Boldin proved again that he's going to be a much larger part of this offense than anyone expected. He put the Lions on the board early and almost snatched a second touchdown before it was called back. Devin Taylor is a grown man. He had himself a heck of a game grabbing four tackles and 1.5 sacks. Lastly on the good stuff, Kerry Hyder is not a human being. He's is an alien that needs to become a larger part of this defense.

Don't burn your Stafford jersey

I know that everyone is extremely excited to blame this entire loss on Matthew Stafford because he threw an interception at the end of the game. Just don't. Try that on for size. Call me a Stafford apologist if you please. But what I saw on Sunday was another decent performance from a player that has become an unquestioned leader of this team. Even when it comes to losing.

I wrote everything I think of Stafford this past Friday. My opinions in that piece have not changed one bit. Stafford is still the face of this franchise and the Lions can't win without him. Get over the interception and place blame on the entire team. They're the ones that lost this game.

Next week

It's real simple. Put this one in your rear view as soon as humanly possible. The Lions are heading to a place they've only won a game in once since 1991 to play the team that, by all means, controls this division. The Lions need to get healthy and play smarter. There's no way you walk out of Green Bay with a win by committing 17 penalties and making mental mistakes. Lions need to bring their 'A' game. But I'm not sure they will.

What do you think Lions fans? What did you see in this game? Be sure to leave your comments below or come chat with me on Twitter @POD_Payton.

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