Well, it was fun for a while right? That’s more than I think many thought they’d be able to say about the Detroit Lions' 35-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. There was a lot of good to take from this game, but there was also a ton of bad.
As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.
The Lions defense fell into the same vat that the Joker fell into in Batman
Only they’re not going to come out of there with a smile and a laugh. They’re going to drowned and Batman is going to prison for murder.
The Lions' defense was defenseless against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. They forced exactly one punt all day and allowed Aaron Jones to get in the end zone four times on Monday night.
What’s worse is that the Lions' defense was already thin coming into the game, they got even thinner during the game when rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu left the game with an injury. The Lions already have the youngest and most inexperienced secondary in the league, on Monday they had to move inexperienced players to different positions just to have guys out there. It’s bad.
But, it’s not as bad as the Lions’ linebacking corps. Every time you looked at Alex Anzalone or Jamie Collins they were out of breath behind a Packer as he crossed into the end zone. These guys are just incapable of coverage. It’s time to give Derrick Barnes the keys and let him work.
Jared Goff had a good game until it rained
The Lions had some miscues on Monday. It’s hard to firmly blame any of them on Jared Goff. The Lions' new quarterback was pretty accurate all day long and made some pretty throws like this one to TJ Hockenson in the first half.
Goff really looked like a guy that was pretty legit. Then the rain started. Goff fumbled twice because the ball was wet and he just couldn’t get a firm grip on it. I’m just not going to put a bunch of blame on him for that. You try to hold a football in the pouring rain while a bunch of 300 lbs. guys run at you. I will blame him for the interception in the fourth quarter though.
Goff was asked about the rain after the game and this was his comment (probably):
“(I can’t stand the rain!)
(‘gainst my window, I can’t stand the rain!)
(‘gainst my window, I, I can’t stand the rain!)
(‘gainst my window, I can’t stand the rain!)
(‘gainst my window, I can’t stand the rain!)”
Run Game goes quiet after a nice start
There’s a reason for it. When you get down enough points, running isn't something you do. You have to get the ball downfield. When the Lions were running the ball early they were doing it well and it clearly baffled the Packers' defense and allowed the Lions to work the play-action pass to decent success. This is going to be the key for the Lions going forward. When I say going forward, I mean 2022. The Lions aren’t going to be able to control games with the run with this defense.
Offensive line formed a, what’s it called Stan?
You really have to hand it to the Lions' offensive line tonight. They get my game ball. Even when things were bad, the Lions' offensive line kept Goff clean and gave him time to sit back and make throws. They helped in run blocking as well when the Lions were able to run the ball. Matt Nelson is definitely the weak spot. But, when Taylor Decker comes back, this could be one of the best groups in the NFL.
Too much foot shooting
Look I’ll play along to an extent. There always seems to be some flags that only seem to happen in Green Bay. Hands to face immediately comes to mind. The Lions were really to blame for their costly penalties. You can’t have 12 men on the field against the Packers. Rodgers will get you every time on that. I don’t know what Jerry Jacobs was doing when he got tied up with Robert Tonyan. So many things happened to the Lions at the worst possible time. They have to clean this stuff up.
The Lions got sacks!
It’s going to be a long road, but the Lions are at least on the road
Remember last week when we talked about repeating “It’s a rebuild?” Well, you still have to do that. The Lions are a super young team that doesn’t quite know what their pieces are for the future. Who knows how many of these guys are going to be around for the future. While I think Goff is the Lions guy, I can’t even guarantee he’ll be around in two years. The point I’m trying to make is that right now is all about finding out who’s in and who’s out.
On Monday night you saw good stuff from the guys that seem like they’re definitely in. Guys like D’Andre Swift, TJ Hockenson, Quintez Cephus, and the Lions offensive line all showed good stuff that you can build on in the future. The Lions don’t feel that far away because of things like that. But like I said, it’s going to be a process.
At least you can tell that the Lions are finally going through that process. That’s something you have to be excited about as a fan.