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Detroit Lions

Three Takeaways from the Lions 30-16 home loss against the LA Rams, putting them at 4-8 and still last in the NFC North

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1. While the Taylor Decker touchdown was a great moment, it’s pretty sad that that is the only way we could score a touchdown

You know the Lions offense is really struggling when their only touchdown is to an offensive lineman. Along with that, 2nd string tight end Levine Toilolo was the leading receiver for the Lions this week too. The Lions running game was average this week, but really wasn’t able to get anything going against the Rams defensive front. With the injuries to Marvin Jones and Kerryon Johnson, it was expected that the Lions offense would have some struggles, but good coaching and good QB play usually can make up for that. But, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

2. The Rams clearly were the better team

The Rams are 11-1 for a reason. When the Rams turned the ball over, they were able to overcome that adversity and get stops themselves to make up for it. Along with that, whenever the Lions turned the ball over, the Rams were able to take advantage of it and get points. While the Lions were able to make the game interesting for a while, the Rams proved to be the better team and were able to put them away down the stretch.

3. Damon Harrison is the most consistent threat on the Lions defense

“Snacks” continues to dominate for the Lions week in and week out. This week, he led the team in tackles with seven (1.5 tackles for loss), had a sack, and also had a fumble recovery. While Harrison has been doing his part, the rest of their defense isn’t holding up their end as Todd Gurley still rushed for 132 yards.

 

Going into this game, the Lions weren’t really expected to win this game and the play on the field showed why. The Rams were the better team as they were able to execute when it mattered most. Along with that, they just flat out have the better talent. While the Lions were able to keep it close for a good amount of the game, the Rams just wore them out. This loss now puts the Lions at 4-8 and still in last place in the NFC North. The Lions need to win out in order to even be considered in the playoff hunt and that doesn’t look possible considering who they have to play these next few weeks.

Arizona Cardinals

Three Takeaways from the Detroit Lions road victory against the Arizona Cardinals 17-3, somehow keeping their playoff hopes alive

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1. Zach Zenner showed up to play this week

Late in the game, Zach Zenner got a few series at running back and he made an immediate impact. He helped the Lions drive down the field and score their only offensive touchdown of the game. Not only did he do that, but he helped ice the game by getting first downs late in the 4th quarter. Zenner finished with 54 rushing yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. 

2. Jarrad Davis was all over the place on defense

Davis is really starting to get in his zone on defense. He was breaking up pass plays, stuffing the run, and even got himself a sack in this game. Davis finished with eight tackles, one sack, and pass deflection. Throughout his first two years in the league, Davis is improving week by week and it is a great sign of things to come at linebacker for the Lions.

3. The offense continues to struggle each week while the defense has improved each week

If it wasn’t for Zenner’s spark and Darius Slay’s interception for a touchdown, the rest of the Lions offense was only able to manage three points. While fans should understand that the offense will struggle due to injuries, etc. it shouldn’t be as bad as it is. Stafford only threw for 101 yards because every pass was short and everybody struggled to get open. As long as Marvin Jones and Kerryon Johnson are still on the sidelines, there is nothing really positive going for the Lions offense.

With this victory, the Lions still somehow have a chance to make the playoffs. While they will need lots of help from other teams, the possibility is still there. Now, this victory wasn’t against a very good Cardinals team, but the defense still looked really good and was a major factor in the Lions winning. With three games left in the season and two of those being divisional games, it will be very interesting to see where the 2018 season pans out for the Lions.

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Detroit Lions

Lions Shut Down Ziggy Ansah

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The Detroit Lions have shut down defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who has been placed on injured reserve, according to an official team announcement.

It is likely that the Lions will move on from Ansah this offseason. 

The Lions opted to apply the franchise tag to Ansah last offseason, paying him $17.1 million and were willing to negotiate a long term deal for the end.

Ansah suffered a number of injuries this season and only posted 4 sacks over 7 games.

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Chicago Bears

Three Takeaways from the Detroit Lions loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving, putting them at 4-7 and just about ending their playoff hopes.

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1. Both of Matthew Stafford’s interceptions killed the Lions chances of winning this game

Matthew Stafford had two interceptions against the Bears, and both of them were game sealing interceptions. The 1st one was in mid-way through the 4th quarter when Eddie Jackson read an out route perfectly, picked off Stafford, and returned the interception for a touchdown to take a 23-16 lead. Then, the 2nd interception was late in the 4th when the Lions were driving down the field, only for Stafford to just throw it up to Michael Roberts in the corner of the endzone, only for Roberts to not expect to get the ball. Kyle Fuller ended up getting the interception with ease as it was basically thrown to him. It has been mentioned earlier in this season and it still applies now that when Stafford turns the ball over, it happens at the worst time and the turnovers look so bad.

2. LeGarrette Blount did his best as a fill in for Kerryon Johnson

Blount carried his weight as he rushed for 88 yards on 19 carries along with two touchdowns. With Kerryon Johnson out with a knee injury, the Lions still needed to establish a running game and Blount did a pretty good job of doing that this week. While Blount isn’t having his best year with the Lions, he still was a good fill in this week as the lack of a running game was not the reason the Lions lost.

3. The Lions defense did their best too

When it was announced that Chase Daniel was going to be the starting quarterback this week due to Mitch Trubisky’s injury, Lions fans probably were not expecting Daniel to be a major factor in deciding this game. While he did not turn the ball over for the Bears, the defense was still able to pressure him and force a lot of punts. Unfortunately, the Lions offense was unable to take advantage of these punts as they punted the same amount of times the Bears did.

 

This loss really put a damper on the Lions’ playoff hopes. After surprising the Panthers last week, a win against the Bears this week really would have helped the Lions get back in the playoff hunt. But, Matthew Stafford seems to struggle against any team that is above .500 or has a really good defense. The Bears fit both of these categories as their defense dominated near the end of the game and ended up forcing turnover after turnover. This now brings up the question that since Jim Caldwell got fired after a 9-7  season, where does this leave coach Matt Patricia since he is now currently 4-7? Overall, this season is just about over for the Lions, so now fans are probably already looking towards the draft.

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