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Lions vs. Steelers: What just happened?

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A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 8 matchup.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Well that was unfortunate. That’s really the best way to sum up the Lions’ 20-15 loss to the Steelers on Sunday night. I can’t lie, I picked the Steelers to win 35-10 in this game. So the Lions losing wasn’t something I was unprepared for. To be hones,t I wasn’t prepared for them to lose this way though. Neither was my stomach.

As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.

Welcome to The Dead Zone

No, I’m not talking about the Christopher Walken movie. I’m not even talking about the Anthony Michael Hall TV show. I’m talking about the Lions inability to score a single touchdown in the red zone in five attempts.

This is one of the difference between winning and losing obviously. It was as if Maid Marian from “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” had loaned her Chastity Belt to the red zone. The Lions were just stonewalled every time. And the play call has a lot to do with that. For a team that knows it can’t run the ball, they sure do try to run the ball in the most inopportune times. This was bad, but....

The offense had a pretty good night

Outside of not scoring and all, if I would have told you that Matthew Stafford would finish this game by going 27-45 for 423 yards and a 91.3 passer rating, you would have known the Lions dominated right? Yeah, that didn’t happen.

But you have to come away with some hope for the Lions... at least in the passing game. They played a heck of a game against a defense that was ranked No. 1 against the pass coming into this game. Can the Lions keep doing that?

Quandre Diggs is a grown man

He didn't have the greatest game in the world. But Diggs made some big plays when the Lions needed them, including the above attempted murder of Antonio Brown. Diggs continues to surprise me. I had him pegged as one of the players the Lions would cut in the preseason. I’m glad I was wrong about that.

That could be all for Eric Ebron

The rumors are swirling all over. Teams have been calling about Eric Ebron and the Lions are hearing these phone calls. This doesn’t mean anything happens for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lions do move Ebron on Monday or Tuesday.

As for his last showing, Ebron had a couple of drops. These were not nearly as egregious as drops in the past, but they elicited the same response we’re used to. Ebron did have two really nice plays on the Lions’ final drive. Sadly, the Lions couldn’t make it three.

Glover Quin is the best safety in the game.

Period. The man just keeps on making plays for the Lions. On Sunday he came away with an interception and a fumble recovery. I don’t think there is anything that anyone can say to me that will get me to change my mind. He’s the best. End of discussion. Although I may come back to this during the week.

Darius Slay is really good at football too

That’s not a highlight. But I thought Slay telling Antonio Brown where the flag was needed to be seen again. Slay also showed Brown that it’s hard to get over on him. The theme of Brown’s night was that he could make things happen if Darius was nowhere around him. If he was, he saw the finger wag. Add Brown to Slay’s list. The Lions really have a star here.

What is a pass rush anyways?

Part of the reason the Lions lost this game is because they couldn’t bring the pressure on Ben Roethlisberger when they need to. The Lions’ line did a great job of stopping Le’Veon Bell through much of the night, but pass rushing continues to be an issue.

With the trade deadline looming, the Lions need to be getting on the phone with whoever is willing to send over some pass rushing help. And that doesn’t mean you sign Andre Fluellen. It’s time to go after some big fish in this department.

James Robert Cooter

Here’s a spot I never thought I’d see myself in. It was but a year ago that Pride of Detroit was selling “Jim Bob Cooter for President” shirts. We were talking about Jim Bob like he was going to leave soon to become a head coach somewhere. He was the savior of this team. He was eating free hot dogs and kissing babies.

Now he’s the enemy in town. It happens that fast around here. And I have to say, I can’t blame anyone for feeling this way. The Lions offense has been one predictable mess all season long. When any ordinary armchair offensive coordinator knows you’re about to run to the right with Dwayne Washington 15 plays before it happens, that’s a problem.

You can dang sure bet the Steelers knew it, and this why you can’t get a predictable offense into the end zone just once in five red zone attempts. Something needs to change, and it needs to change this week. Because if it doesn’t, It’ll be time for Jim Bob to call Tyrone.