With the Detroit Lions leading 7-0 against the Minnesota Vikings late in the first quarter, momentum was going the Lions way. After scoring a touchdown, the Lions made a valiant defensive stop that even had the home crowd booing the Vikings offense. Instead of taking control of the game, the Lions PR Stefan Logan fumbled the punt return and the Vikings recovered inside their 20. The very next play, Favre threw a pass to a wide open Percy Harvin. For the first time all season, the Vikings and their fans had something positive to cheer about. The Lions never gained control again.
On the Lions sideline, they had that look, the look that fans have seen this past decade — ‘Here we go again…’ The Lions have taken the lead in each of their first three games, but have surrendered it each time. Things went even further downhill for the Lions as Adrian Peterson had his longest career TD run of 80 yards as the Vikings took the lead and never looked back. On top of that, the Lions lost RB Jahvid Best to a toe injury and the offense had difficulty moving the chains the rest of the game.
The Lions secondary is still a work in progress. The only keeper is S Louis Delmas who continues to play at the same level he did during his successful rookie year. As for CBs Jonathan Wade and Chris Houston, they are not physical and fast enough to play bum and run on the line. In order for them not to get beat, they give the opposing receiver a 8 yard cushion on the line. On top of that, they seem to be out of position at times and are one of the reasons the Lions have a tendency to give up big plays.
There are no moral victories in the NFL when you lose. The Lions have lost 22 consecutive road games. They keep losing offense playmakers each week – Week 1 – QB Matthew Stafford, Week 2 – WR Nate Burleson, and Week 3 - RB Jahvid Best. While the offense and secondary have sputtered this season, the Lions defensive line have become a bright spot. Each week, they have heavily pressured the opposing quarterback. Something the Lions have not done on a continuous basis since the Robert Porcher days. Even DT Corey Williams positioned himself perfectly and intercepted a Brett Favre screen pass.
The NFL did the Lions no favor by scheduling the first 3 out of 4 games on the road against their division rivals. By the time the first weekend in October is completed, the Lions won’t have any division road games left. That’s a tough schedule for a team trying to overcome a losing culture. The Lions still have a long road back to respectability. And it won’t happen next week at Green Bay. It will only happen when their offense playmakers can get back on the field.
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Written by Bob Ballard