For a while, it looked like the offensive progress the Detroit Lions made in last week’s win against the Chicago Bears would carry over.
Matthew Stafford was sharp early as the offensive line gave him time to survey the field to find big plays to Calvin Johnson and Eric Ebron. Two drives in, the Lions had found the end zone twice to get out to a 14-3 lead.
But as was the case in week one against the Chargers, early success didn’t last as the defense time and time again couldn’t come up with big stops to get off the field. When the defense finally did get off the field, typically after giving up points, they found themselves back out there as the offense had trouble sustaining drives after the first quarter.
Questions about the offense’s play centered around Matthew Stafford earlier in the season but he was not the problem today. When given time, Stafford looked good, but he just wasn’t given time after the first quarter. Pass plays were doomed from the start for too much of this game as Stafford, who was sacked seven times, had pressure in his face before routes had time to develop.
With the Vikings in a softer defense late in the game, Stafford once again was able to make some key throws to help put the Lions in position for a late comeback. The Lions had second and goal from the one yard line with under three minutes to play but instead of celebrating a miraculous comeback, it’s time to again question Joe Lombardi’s play calling.
A fourth down pass fell incomplete and the curtain essentially fell on the Lions’ chances today.
Now 1-6 on the year, the Lions must travel across the Atlantic to play the Kansas City Chiefs in London. Perhaps the tough trip will come as a welcome distraction for the struggling Lions.