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Monday open thread: Does the offense or defense deserve more blame for Sunday’s loss?

Neither side looked good against the Colts.

Indianapolis Colts v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions had two key victories over the Jaguars and Falcons, but they were met with different reactions. The doubters thought they were a mirage, meaningless wins against even worse teams. The believers thought it was a sign that the team was finally on the right track.

After Sunday’s loss to the Colts, the doubters are sitting comfortably.

A 41-21 loss doesn’t reflect well on either the offense or defense, and the tape confirms what the scoreboard hints: the Lions are not a good football team. The offense put up over 300 yards, yet the stats distract from the struggles they encountered all game. An injury to Kenny Golladay hurts, but the run game remains ineffective and Matthew Stafford remains inconsistent. When Jamal Agnew and Stafford are your leading rushers with 11 and 10 yards, respectively, you have an issue.

The good—a pair of Marvin Jones touchdowns and a deep bomb to Marvin Hall—does not outweigh the bad, with the Lions committing their first fumble of the season and Stafford throwing a really poor pick-six. The offensive line shuffle did not help either, surrendering five sacks on the day including the strip sack. T.J. Hockenson had a decent day, but you have to assume it came due to Golladay missing time.

It was not much better on the defense. The secondary was still suspect in those wins over Atlanta and Jacksonville, but there was some hope that the return of Justin Coleman could help. Instead, it was more of the same.

Philip Rivers was essentially perfect on the day, and Nyheim Hines proved to be a mismatch out of the backfield. Jordan Wilkins was surprisingly the leading rusher with 89 rushing yards, although those are likely a byproduct of the Colts dominating the clock throughout most of the game. The run defense is improved—props to Da’Shawn Hand, Danny Shelton, and John Penisini—but in a passing-driven league, the rest of the defense needs to step up.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Does the offense or defense deserve more blame for Sunday’s loss?

My answer: I think the offense deserves the brunt of the blame. The Colts controlled the ball for over 37 minutes, and while part of that can be attributed to a quick Jones score, it comes down to the offense stalling early and often.

The Lions allowed 41 points, which looks bad for the defense. However, one of those touchdowns was courtesy of a pick-six, and the offense could not give the defense a break with sustained drives until the game was already out of reach. This does not excuse the poor performance from the secondary, but fatigue certainly played a factor—a factor that only added to the disappointment.

Your turn.

Poll

Does the offense or defense deserve more blame for Sunday’s loss?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Offense
    (348 votes)
  • 23%
    Defense
    (106 votes)
454 votes total Vote Now