Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24
Detroit Lions 21
Is there a more inconsistent team in the NFL right now than the 6-5 Lions?
It seems hard to reconcile that just 2 weeks ago the Lions were celebrating back-to-back victories over Dallas (5-5) and Chicago (6-4) to take a commanding lead at 6-3 in the NFC North. Now, frustrated Lions fans are left scratching their heads wondering how on earth they have dropped to 6-5, losing in consecutive weeks to Pittsburgh (5-5) and Tampa (3-8)?
It seems that the only consistent thing in Detroit is inconsistency.
Despite the poor play, it looked like Detroit could scrape out an ugly victory against the Bucs. In a heart-breaking moment in the final minute, Calvin Johnson caught a pass at the Bucs’ 3-yard line, only to cough the ball up to rookie cornerback Jonathan Banks. This left Tampa to kneel out the clock and secure the win.
5 turnovers, including 4 picks by Matthew Stafford effectively gave the game to Tampa. Stafford’s interceptions included a crucial 48-yard pick-six at the end of the 1st half to give the Bucs a 17-14 lead at half time. In the 3rd quarter, Stafford threw another INT while missing a wide open Johnson in the end zone, which would have made it 28-17. He finished 26 of 46 for 297 yards, 3 TDs and 4 INTs.
Detroit shot themselves in the foot over and over.
In the 4th quarter at 24-21, while Tampa were giving the home side opportunities to come back by missing 2 field goals, Detroit had a punt blocked and Kris Durham fumbled the ball. The Lions failed to capitalise on opportunities.
Tampa look strong under Mike Glennon. He finished 14 of 21 for 247 yards and 2 TDs, including an 85-yard pearler to Tiquan Underwood at the start of the 4th quarter.
Thanks to a loss by the Bears and a tie by the Packers, the Lions remain tied at the top of the division. This was a game that could so easily have gone the Lions’ way. However, what is crucial at this stage of the season is wins.
Detroit now entertains a short week before facing the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night at home. For Detroit to make a serious playoff run, consistency is key.
But the question is: Which Detroit side will turn up to play against Green Bay?