Even with the heroics of wide receiver Calvin Johnson it was another week and another loss for the Detroit Lions Saturday night as they fell to the Atlanta Falcons 31-18.
The Falcons swooped into Ford Field and gave the Lions fits as the NFC leaders were in control the whole game putting up 14 quick points eventually taking a 21-6 lead into halftime. It was pretty clear the Falcons never felt threatened in this game even when the Lions scored 13 unanswered points to make it 21-16. From there the Falcons put their foot back on the accelerator and continued to march down the field at their own will. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan knew he could pick apart the Detroit secondary and judging by his rating (142.6) and his QBR 96.7 it looked as though he was simply drawing up plays to his receivers on his hand. The Detroit defense had no answer for the steady diet of Roddy White and Julio Jones and even as Detroit dialed up the blitz, it only resulted in one sack on the night.
As for the Lions, Calvin Johnson continued to prove he is the best receiver in the game and now he has the numbers to prove it. He has overcome knee problems early in the year to put up one of the finest seasons a receiver or any player for that matter can hope to have. And as for that Madden curse I have one thing to say, all hail Megatron!
Johnson though was a monster in this game accumulating 11 catches for 225 yards and became the record holder of most yards in a year. He also cemented 10 catches or more in 4 straight games and 8 straight games of 100 yards or more.
Megatron did suffer a fumble in the game to go along with Leshoure’s fumble and Stafford’s interception when he tried to force the ball to Johnson in triple coverage late in the fourth quarter.
Having now dropped 7 straight games since getting back to .500 earlier in the season, the Lions suffered injury after injury exposing their lack of depth which ultimately resulted in the losses. And looking back on this you could only think that this lack of depth is a total indictment on the Detroit front office. How can Calvin put up such an incredible season yet still have no successful counterpart in position X? Stafford and Johnson were great this year in between the 20’s, but settling for field goals and having a quarterback’s touchdown total cut in half hurt. And to add Calvin Johnson only having 5 touchdown’s is a problem as well. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying this is Johnson or Stafford’s fault, I’m blaming the front office as the help provided isn’t good enough. Teams have also learned that they can get away with triple teaming Megatron without being burned in the process.
So now the season has come down to one game and one last chance for the coaching staff and front office to evaluate just exactly what they have and what they want to bring back next season. The Lions have 8 guys on defense to sign in which I don’t think I want one back with Louis Delmas being the exception.
In the end the Lions lost a game we all knew they’d lose. The individual records are nice as Lions Nation doesn’t have much more to cheer about. The Lions have choked away four national TV spots this year and blown a year that saw them return 21 starters. They have some real good players but there isn’t the depth and talent to put Detroit over the hump. It’s too bad too, Calvin Johnson is too good of a talent to be wasted in Detroit.
I wonder if he regrets signing that deal yet?