There’s good, there’s bad, and then there is outright ugly.
The performance by the Detroit Lions on Saturday afternoon doesn’t fit in any of those categories.
Well, it’s because the 47-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was an abomination. And the only thing the only bright side of it is that fans were not allowed in Ford Field to witness the epic destruction of the Lions’ defense.
Now let’s be fair to the Lions on a few things.
Taking the field without interim head coach Darrell Bevell displayed the expected challenges. Wide receivers coach Robert Prince stepped in as interim head coach, while quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan over the offensive play-calling duties.
And both have never called plays at the professional level.
Due to this, their lack of experience reared its ugly head all game long. At one point, the Buccaneers had more rushing yards than the Lions had total offense. In such a situation, blaming the coaching staff is low-hanging fruit. It’s easy-picking because, after all, someone has to take the blame.
Nonetheless, even with that fact at hand, don’t the players have to take a “lion share” of the blame?
The team looked horrendous with Matthew Stafford on the field. And after he left the game due to an ankle injury, the Lions became unwatchable.
There was an expectation that Tom Brady and Co. would outplay the Lions, regardless of the situation.
However, even as great as Brady is, no one could have predicted what happened.
Brady ended the first half with 348 yards and four touchdowns. He was on pace to break NFL records for most passing yards (554) and touchdowns (7) in a single game if he stayed in the game. And with a 34-0 score at halftime, there was no indication that he would not have accomplished it.
Then the ultimate disrespect happened. The Lions let Blaine Gabbert get in on the fun.
Gabbert started the second half in place of Tom Brady, which was smart. No disrespect to the Lions, but the game was virtually over. On Gabbert’s first play, he threw a quick stripe to Rob Gronkowski for his first of two passing touchdowns.
Gabbert finished the game with 133 yards and two touchdowns. Along with that, he had a 128.9 passer rating.
The Lions defense gave up 588 yards, 30 first downs, and didn’t get one turnover.
What’s going to happen vs. the Vikings?
The Lions will try to regroup from such an embarrassing loss, as their season finale is next Sunday vs. the Minnesota Vikings.
In their last matchup, the Vikings handed the Lions a 34-20 loss, where Kirk Cousins threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Cousins threw for 291 and three touchdowns yesterday in a loss against the Saints.
If he can do that against one of the best teams in the NFC, there is no telling what numbers he’ll put up against THIS version of the Detroit Lions defense.