The Detroit Lions are miserable. In Week 11 they had the privilege of getting to play against a Carolina Panthers team with a poor defense, an absent All-Pro running back and being forced to start a former XFL player under center. For a competent team, this is basically a free win.
Instead, they were blanked. They lost 20-0, and were shut out for the first time in over a decade.
Here are a few takeaways from a disaster day in Charlotte:
This team needs Kenny Golladay
The Lions offense has looked inept this season when wide receiver Kenny Golladay is out of the lineup. This week was one of the worst offensive performance this team has had in the Matthew Stafford era. They were blanked by the Panthers, and never even came close to the endzone.
Detroit’s offense was without a lot of weapons. Rookie standout running back D’Andre Swift and Stafford’s favorite safety blanket Danny Amendola missed the game as well. Stafford also had a hand injury that limited him.
Still, though, the offense was dead and could really have benefitted from the presence of their elite receiver. With receivers like Jamal Agnew, T.J. Hockenson and Adrian Peterson failing to haul down routine passes. Stafford had no one to throw to, and even when he did, none of his receivers could do much with the ball.
It is hard to overstate the presence Golladay has on this offense. Unfortunately, Golladay may never end up playing a meaningful game for the Lions as he is set to hit free agency this offseason. The Lions need to pay Golladay this offseason, as finding hidden gems like him in the third round does not matter if you never do anything with them.
The defense has no idea what it is doing
This disaster of a football game ended in perfect fashion for the Lions. While the game was over anyways, they had one last chance to get the ball to at least get points on the board in the final minutes. They forced the Panthers to a fourth-and-5 punting situation.
In one of the most comical span of events I have ever seen on a football field, Detroit fell for the Panthers hard count not just once, but twice, giving the Panthers the first down they needed to end the game.
The ending of this game was just a continuation of what was happening all day. The defense was lost. Veteran corner Desmond Trufant was out of position every time he appeared on the broadcast. Jeff Okudah got beat for another long gain. Tracy Walker’s disaster season continued, and he was constantly running himself out of position. There was no pass rush, there was no run defense, there was no pass defense.
I’m not sure how long I will be beating this dead horse, but this is a team coached by Matt Patricia, a man brought in to build an elite defense. Instead, it is a talentless unit that features 11 guys (and sometimes less!) running around like they have no idea what they are doing.