The Detroit Lions had themselves an interesting game Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, with the Colts coming out on top, 41-21. The Lions have now dropped to 3-4 and sit 3rd in the NFC North, with the 2-5 Vikings looking to take over the 3rd place spot in the coming weeks after a solid win against the Packers. The Lions had a very different performance against the Colts, struggling in many spots. It seemed that the Lions were just getting back on track after the tight win against the Falcons. But let’s take a look at what exactly happened and see what the Lions did well, and also what they need to improve on.
1. Offensive Line
During the game against the Colts, Lions QB Matthew Stafford was sacked 5 times by the Colts’ defense. With this, the Colts also racked up 9 TFL throughout the game, which is the most for the Colts since week 12 in 2017. Yes, the Colts defensive line is one of the best in the league, but that doesn’t take away the fact that every play it felt like Matthew Stafford was being pressured.
The Lions offensive line was supposed to be stronger today with the return of OL Taylor Decker, but that wasn’t the case. In the past few weeks, the offensive line has been shifting around, with almost every lineman in the depth chart taking snaps at the guard and tackle positions. It seemed the Lions had hit big with the big men during the Falcons game, allowing only 2 sacks and managing to let D’Andre Swift and AP run all over the Falcons front seven. Sunday’s game, of course, was a very different story. The Lions need to figure out what guys work on the offensive line and stick with them, if we keep switching men around, prepare to expect more of the same in the coming weeks.
2. Run Game
Of course, if you want to have a good run game, you need a good offensive line. Still, there is no excuse for the horrible running game against the Colts. The Lions only ran for a TOTAL of 29 rushing yards. Jamal Agnew led the Lions in rushing, with 1 carry for 11 yards. Adrian Peterson started the game for the Lions and was in for most of the snaps, which made no sense. D’Andre Swift has proven that he should be in the starting position, but it seems that HC Matt Patricia feels otherwise.
The Colts defensive line had an absolute cakewalk to the RBs, which of course resulted in the poor run game. Matt Patricia still needs to take some of the blame for not starting D’Andre Swift, as stats are showing AP is getting worse each game via YPC (Yards Per Carry.)
3. Home Field Advantage? I think not.
So far this season, the Lions have struggled at home, going 0-3. The last time the Lions won a game in Ford Field was October 27th, 2019 against the NY Giants. It’s hard to pinpoint the reason why the Lions are struggling at home, but they need to figure it out. Sadly, there is a global pandemic going on (if you somehow didn’t notice that) which means there is no capacity allowed within the stadium (maybe for the better.) Not having fans in Ford Field could be a possible reason for the poor performance at home, but it needs to be figured out.
It can’t be a normal Lions game without some injuries on the Lions side. Star WR Kenny Golladay left the game sometime around the 3rd quarter with a hip injury and was immediately declared that he would be out for the rest of the game. As of right now, no reports have come out about Golladay’s injury. There is a chance that he suffered a Hip contusion, which is a compression injury and can create a separation of the muscle fibers attached to the bone.
If this is the case for Kenny Golladay, he will be out for 1-2 weeks and be able to return quickly, as long as there is no extra inflammation in the muscle. Don’t panic though, this is one of the most common injuries in WRs.
RB/WR Jamal Agnew also left during the 3rd quarter due to an ankle injury. Just like Kenny Golladay, there has been no comment on what has happened or how severe the injury is, but he too was also ruled out for the rest of the game. Hopefully, in the following days, we can get an update and timeline for both Golladay and Agnew.
5. Marvin Hall – Have a day!
Of course, after all this negativity I feel we should send off on a positive note, WR Marvin Hall. Hall had an amazing day Sunday despite the team’s performance. Hall had his first career 100-yard game, racking up 4 catches for 113 yards.
We have to take this as a very positive thing, as now we have learned that the Lions have some depth in the WR position. Hall proved why he should get more playing time within the starting team, so let’s hope that Matt Patricia will take note and give Hall more reps in the upcoming game against the 2-5 Vikings.