For the seventh time this season, the Detroit Lions have lost by one possession or less, and now their 2012 campaign is all but over following a last second play from Andrew Luck to Donnie Avery which allowed him to go untouched for 14 yards to give the Colts a victory. It is extremely unlikely for an 8-8 team to make the playoffs this year, so all the Lions can try and do from here is finish strong. Even with a win today, it would have been an uphill battle, remaining on their schedule is the Packers, Cardinals, Falcons, and Bears, three of them are among the NFL’s top tier teams.
The Lions struggled to get their running attack going, they had one nice rush from Joique Bell for 67 yards, but other than that they averaged about 2.5 yards per carry and were forced to attach through the air for majority of the game. The Colts didn’t have a balanced attack either, they threw 54 times and only ran 18 times. This game which featured two of the up and coming stars at quarterback saw a total of 100 pass attempts, 51 completions, 704 passing yards, six passing touchdowns, and four interceptions. If you are a fan of old school football, this was not a game for you.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were clearly on the same page, they connected a total of 13 times for 171 yards and one touchdown. After Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew was the most productive player, and he only had three receptions for 43 yards, but added one touchdown as well.
The Lions were in an excellent position to close the game and escape an Andrew Luck comeback. However, with only enough time for one play on a fourth and ten, Andrew Luck ran right and flipped the ball to Donnie Avery who was running at full speed, and the Lions were unable to get to him before he went into the end zone uncontested.
The Lions haven’t had many problems on offense this season, but if it wasn’t clear in the past, hopefully management has received the message that the defensive secondary needs to be fixed.