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Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: What Just Happened?

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A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 14 matchup.

Detroit Lions v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

This team, man. I mean this team, am I right? This dang team. Only the Lions do stuff like this, right? We’re all used to it. Give the Lions an easy win and they’ll do everything they can to make it a 23-21 win instead of a 40-21 win. The Lions got the job done and keep their playoff hopes alive. But it wasn’t pretty. Still, a win is a win. And wins are delicious aren’t they Akeem?

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

You force five turnovers, you have to win by more than three points

This is a perfect example of how perfectly flawed this Lions team is. When everything goes your way and you can’t capitalize on it, you have to start wondering why. That “why” may be the Lions coaching staff. The Lions showed their classics all day on Sunday.

The inability to do things on third-and-1, the weird handoffs on long downs, the weird pitches to your biggest running back that is prone to be inefficient in plays like that and the perhaps my favorite of going up-tempo with success and then promptly moving away from that. If the Lions have a new staff in 2018, it’s because of games like this.

Ebron goes off. But you still found a reason to hate him

Eric Ebron had what was probably the best game of his career. He had 10 receptions for 94 yards and was just everywhere all day. Ebron has been solid since coming out of the bye week as well. Yet suffering the first fumble of his career and not catching the ball once is all that anyone will ever look at when it comes to this game. At what point does a fan realize they’re hating a player because they feel like they’re supposed to?

Theo looked pretty good on Sunday.

That’s probably not a good thing if your name is Ameer Abdullah. Ameer has missed the last two games. In those games, the Lions have, at the very least, been able to get the ball in the end zone on the ground. At the very least is a phrase I feel I have to use again here.

The Tion Green experiment looks like it’s not going to work. He had just 15 yards on five carries. Zach Zenner continues to not be what so many seem to think he is. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Theo Riddick be the only running back in this group to be on the roster in 2018. I mean that.

Matthew looked really good. Except for when he looked bad

It should surprise no one that Matthew Stafford is really good. He completed 81.8 percent of his passes on Sunday and looked pretty money for most of the day. But then there were those two interceptions. What is it about Matthew Stafford that makes him play incredible for 98 percent of the day, but then look like his 2012 self for the other two percent of it? I don’t know. All I know is that he’s the last person to blame for anything wrong with this team.

The Lions did that thing again where they made a bad offense look good

I saw this tweet Sunday morning. Essentially things are falling apart in Tampa Bay and their offense has been really bad. Sadly the first thing I thought was “Well they’ll have a good day today.”

Yeah they turned the ball over five times. But they also scored 21 points and, for the most part, kept pace with Detroit all day. They only punted three times. To me, that just doesn’t seem like enough. The Lions defense continues to be really bad. And it’s not just a talent thing anymore. It’s a scheme issue. The Lions are clueless in the red zone. They had a defensive end covering a tight end on one touchdown and allowed a fat guy to waltz in uncovered on another.

I know people like Terryl Austin as a head coaching candidate. And by people I mean mainstream sports media outlets like NFL Network. Teams really should talk to a Lions writer or a Lions fan before they decide to make a hire there.

Ziggy got a sack

Quandre Diggs may have found a new home at safety

We were all skeptical about Quandre moving to safety for this game. But it would appear that he fits right in there. The former Longhorn forced two turnovers on Sunday, almost three if you count the freak interception that was called back. Outside of that, Diggs also notched six tackles. All in all it was a good day. At the end of the day, Glover Quin can still do this and be right about it.

The most unnecessary penalties in the world

It’s true that the Lions brought a patchwork offensive line into this game. So it can be somewhat forgiven when a lineman tries to throw a hold in order to make up for bad blocks. If you can do it and not get caught, why not I guess. Everyone else is.

But then there’s the flip side. The flip side is when you’re playing the worst pass rush in the league and your quarterback is never in any real danger. In fact, this is the first time all year that Stafford didn’t get sacked. It’s the first game where Stafford didn’t get sacked since November 15 of 2015. So why in the hell are you killing big plays with holding calls? The Lions have to clean this stuff up.

So the Lions win. The season continues. If you thought you were out, if you thought you could run, you can’t. Being a Lions fan is like being in a relationship. It’s ups and downs, but it’s love. The Lions are your boo. The Lions are My Boo.