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Lions-Ravens recap: Slow start dooms Detroit yet again, lose 20-44

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The Lions can’t seem to get out of their own way early in games.

Detroit Lions v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

For the fourth straight week, the Detroit Lions found themselves in a huge hole early in the game. For the second straight week, it was too much to pull themselves out of.

Both offenses struggled to get things going, as each team could only muster a first down or two on their first drives of the game. However, after the Lions punted, Paul Worrilow committed an extremely dumb late-hit penalty that had Baltimore starting their second drive in Lions territory. After a couple of first downs, the Ravens stalled and settled for a field goal.

The Lions got themselves into a good position on the next drive thanks to big plays from Theo Riddick and Darren Fells. However, on a key third down, Matthew Stafford couldn’t handle the shotgun snap and was forced to fall on the ball out of field goal goal range. Sam Martin did his part and pinned the Ravens at their own 5-yard line.

The Lions quickly got the ball back and found themselves in field goal range thanks to a huge 33-yard run on Tion Green’s first NFL carry:

But the Lions stalled and Matt Prater had a rare miss from under 50 yards. His 43-yard attempt went wide left.

On the very next play, Joe Flacco connected with Mike Wallace for 66 yards and the Ravens punched it in on the next play. Suddenly the Lions found themselves in a familiar 10-0 deficit.

And the Ravens weren’t done. The next drive Matthew Stafford was strip-sacked on third down, giving Baltimore a short field. They quickly punched it in after a couple of big pass plays, and the route was on.

By the time the half was over, the Lions were out their starting right tackle and were down 20-0, the first time Detroit has been shut out in the first two quarters all season.

Detroit did all they could come out firing after half. Down two offensive linemen (T.J. Lang was also out), the Lions quickly drove 75 yards down field after a huge 42-yard bomb to Marvin Jones Jr. on a free play. Theo Riddick punched it in from four yards out and the Lions were on the board, 7-20.

After a quick stop on defense, the Lions offense got it going again. Stafford methodically drove the Lions into the red zone and Tion Green pounded it in for his first NFL touchdown:

Matt Prater would continue his poor day by missing the extra point, but Detroit was back within one possession, 20-13.

But the defense just couldn’t hold up. Baltimore drove down on a nine-play, 74-yard drive that ended in a Alex Collins 7-yard touchdown run with little resistance.

However, Matthew Stafford would not give up. Stafford completely 20-straight passes in the second half, the 20th being a touchdown to linebacker/fullback Nick Bellore.

But Baltimore was ultimately too much. They would tack on a field goal, and Stafford was intercepted on a desperation heave on the following drive.

Stafford then went into the tunnel after suffering an injury to his throwing hand. Jake Rudock promptly threw a pick six on his first NFL drive and any chance of a miraculous comeback were dashed.

The Lions are now 6-6 and their playoff chances are evaporating out of thin air. Though the Falcons also lost on Sunday, Detroit absolutely has to win out to even have a chance at the postseason. Of course, if they’re going to do so, they’re going to have to play a hell of a lot better going forward.