The Detroit Lions lost to the Denver Broncos. At this point in the season, there’s not much we can learn about the team. They aren’t that good, they are continuing to suffer an alarming rate of injuries, and the result is some pretty boring football.
But for the sake of completion, here are three things we took away from Detroit’s 27-17 loss to the Broncos in Week 16.
The Detroit Lions aren’t trying to tank
Regardless of the final results, one thing is clear: the Lions aren’t trying to lose. Despite every incentive to lose as a franchise, the players are fighting and Detroit took several leads in this game. When you consider that Detroit was missing every starting linebacker, several starting defensive lineman, their starting quarterback, two of their starters on the offensive line, Sunday’s performance wasn’t all that bad.
Does that say something about Matt Patricia? That’s up to you to decide. Individual players have plenty of motivation to play well (future contracts, pride) regardless of whether they support or buy into Patricia. Either way, it’s good to see the team isn’t completely folding it in.
Kenny Golladay should have been a Pro Bowler
Plenty pointed to Golladay as a Pro Bowl snub, and he continued to make his case on Sunday. Though he had one drop that could have changed the game, Golladay continues to be Detroit’s best offensive player, despite having third-string quarterbacks throwing him the ball.
Golladay pulled in his league-leading 11th touchdown of the season, and showed his strength and effort on the play.
On the day, Golladay led the team with five catches and 63 yards.
I miss the good fourth-quarter Lions
The Lions entered the fourth quarter with a 17-13 lead. But for the seventh time this season, the Lions blew the lead. This time, they managed to do it quickly and thoroughly.
The Broncos outscored Detroit 14-0 in the final 15 minutes, and the Lions have now been outscored 136-84 in the fourth quarter for the entire season.
Compare that to just a few years ago, when Matthew Stafford and the Lions were the king of the fourth-quarter comeback. If you want to know the difference between a 9-7 team and a 3-11-1 team, there it is.