With 3:05 left in the game, the Detroit Lions pulled the score within five points (35-30) after a touchdown pass from Matt Stafford to Marvin Jones Jr. Five seconds later, Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins found Stefon Diggs on a 66-yard bomb. This set up Dalvin Cook to score the game’s final touchdown, putting them ahead by 12 (42-30).
And sealing yet another Lions loss, with this one being their third straight. This loss also marks their second straight to a division opponent, dropping them to 0-2 in the NFC North.
With the team sitting at 2-3-1, Sunday’s loss puts their chances of making the playoffs in jeopardy. They are currently at the bottom in one of the NFL’s most competitive divisions this year with the Green Bay Packers sitting atop the NFC North at 6-1. Following them are the Vikings at 5-2, and the Chicago Bears at 3-3.
The big question that faces this team now is “What’s next?”
Prior to Sunday’s game against the Vikings, they were ranked 27th & 28th defending against the run and pass respectively. They have now dropped to 28th & 30th. This comes after an off-season where they have signed former Super Bowl champions Trey Flowers and Justin Coleman to help in those respective areas. Bigger than that, the team’s defense looks to have regressed under head coach Matt Patricia.
And yes, it’s under the same Matt Patricia who is touted as a defensive mastermind.
Through six games, the Lions have given up an average of 139 rushing yards and 290 passing yards per game. Not to leave out, they are 27th in total sacks.
This should not be the case. Not with what Patricia said he was going to improve here.
The Lions will look to bounce back at Ford Field this Sunday against the reeling New York Giants (2-5), who have also lost three straight. Giants QB Daniel Jones comes will go into Sunday’s game with the 18th ranked QBR in the league (52.3). If Jones’s last several games are any indication, expect a solid performance from the Lions secondary. Since leading his team to a 32-31 victory against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in September, he has thrown at least one interception in his last four games.
Following that, the team will travel to face the Oakland Raiders who currently sit at 3-3. While both of those games are no guaranteed victories, they are beatable opponents for the Lions. If they can improve to 4-3-1 before a division showdown with the Chicago Bears, it can help with stabilizing their season. In order to make the playoffs though, an unprecedented run would have to take place.
History In The Misery
While Sunday didn’t prove to be the result the team hoped for, Marvin Jones Jr. still managed to make history. His four touchdown grabs make him the third receiver in NFL history with multiple four touchdown games, joining Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, and Sterling Sharpe. He also made Lions history as well.
He became the team’s first receiver in the Super Bowl era with four touchdowns in a game. The last Lions player to achieve that feat was Cloyce Box on December 3rd, 1950 vs. the Baltimore Colts.