Monday, December 16, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Detroit Lions
By Michael Rothstein
DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the Detroit Lions' 18-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
What it means: The Lions defense did exactly what it needed to do Monday night: It kept Baltimore from scoring a touchdown. The Lions found a way to lose anyway, putting their season and perhaps the coaching career of Jim Schwartz in jeopardy.
Detroit's team was built on its offense, with the firepower of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush as well as an emerging quarterback in Matthew Stafford. Stafford threw three interceptions. The Lions scored two touchdowns -- on the first drive of the game and another on their last -- and showed almost no urgency in between. It was just a completely brutal loss for Detroit. This was a team that at one point looked poised to win the division.
Now, at 7-7, the Lions are third in the NFC North and a team that will need a lot of help to make the playoffs.
Stock Watch: Rising -- Detroit's defense. Saddled by an ineffective offense for much of the day, the Lions didn't allow a touchdown and held Ray Rice to 56 yards rushing and Torrey Smith to 69 yards receiving. They also pressured Joe Flacco fairly well for most of the game, keeping him off balance. Falling -- Stafford's accuracy. In addition to the three interceptions, he had a completion percentage under 55 for the fourth time in the past six games.
Fauria reappears: He had not caught a pass since Week 12 against Tampa Bay, but Joseph Fauria grabbed what was the go-ahead touchdown on a tough pass over the middle in the end zone. It was perhaps Stafford's best throw of the day and also a very, very difficult catch by the rookie tight end. He has 12 receptions this season. Seven of them are touchdowns.
What's next: The Lions have their home finale Sunday against the New York Giants followed by a trip to Minnesota to close the regular season.