Jim Caldwell recently admitted that the Lions don’t really do much in the way of adjustments. It was quite clear the way Case Keenum picked them apart with little resistance. Keenum set a franchise record with 19 straight completions en route to throwing 3 touchdowns on 27-32 passing for 321 yards with one interception.
Veteran journeyman, Keenum, looked like anything but as he casually picked apart the Lions all day. He had plenty of time in the pocket and repeatedly found wide open receivers who made big plays of their own, breaking tackles at will and sniffing out the end zone.
Fortunately for the Lions, Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate led Detroit’s offense to an even bigger day.
Despite awful protection and plenty of drops, Stafford completed 23 of his 31 passes for 270 yards and 4 touchdowns without a turnover. Tate, who has struggled this season, broke out in a big way catching 8 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown.
Detroit’s defense was beaten and abused but made the important plays when it mattered. They forced a crucial three and out with five minutes to play giving the Lions a chance to take the lead. After a Matt Prater field goal did exactly that with a minute and change to go, the defense once again stood up, this time, Rafael Bush picking off Keenum’s errant pass to effectively end the game.
The Game Turned When
The Lions defense stood on its head late in the fourth quarter. Detroit had tied the game with 6:09 to go and the Rams had an opportunity to eat up the clock on another long scoring drive to end the game. The way they were moving the ball at will, it looked likely. Batted pass, run stop, pass break up, punt. Just like that, the Rams were three and out giving the Lions one last shot with plenty of time.
A Look Ahead
Stafford adds yet another fourth quarter comeback to his resume and as long as he is healthy, Detroit will be a tough out. Unfortunately, the Lions just don’t have the talent where they need it to be a serious playoff contender. The defense lacks playmakers pretty much everywhere and Teryl Austin and friends have proved they cannot make the necessary adjustments to stop the bleeding. The offensive line is still a huge liability and it’s hard to believe they can continue scoring enough to overcome against tougher competition.
Next week brings the Washington Redskins to town in a game that looks more difficult than it did a few weeks ago.