3 Takeaways from Lions' Week 15 Loss to Buccaneers

Brandon Justice

There aren’t many positives to gather from Detroit’s past two months of attempting and failing to win football games.

However, we’re going to give it our best shot to identify a few bright spots from the Lions’ 38-17 home loss to the Buccaneers.

Here goes nothing.

The fight in the fourth quarter

The final score doesn’t properly depict how close the Lions came to erasing a 21-point deficit -- the Lions were down 21-0 to start the game.

In fact, with eight minutes left in the game, Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay missed a field goal that set Detroit up at its own 38-yard line down a touchdown.

The defense -- despite its abysmal first-half performance -- flipped the switch in the second half, allowing only a field goal up to that point.

As we know now, the wheels would fall off the wagon via a David Blough interception returned for a 70-yard touchdown by cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and later a third touchdown catch by Breshad Perriman.

But hey, it was far closer than it should’ve been at that stage of the game, and showing any fight during Matt Patricia’s disastrous second season is a positive in my book.

Consistent areas of struggle should make offseason decisions easier

Normally, trying to figure out what’s wrong with a team isn’t an easy task, especially if said team presents new issues each week.

The Lions’ issues, however, seem to be consistent.

They have a lot of issues defensively, specifically in rushing the passer and defending the pass.

Detroit ranks 31st in passing defense, averaging 288 passing yards allowed per game.

Additionally, it only averages 1.9 sacks a game -- 28-worst in the NFL.

The other issue is injuries.

Blame Blough for the loss, but the reality is that he’s a third-string rookie quarterback with three weeks of experience.

The offense is an entirely different animal with Matthew Stafford leading the way.

However, it’s become increasingly clear-cut since Stafford went down that the Lions need to obtain a reliable backup for their franchise passer this offseason.

And those are just the obvious areas of need for Detroit heading into the offseason.

Simple enough, right?

The race for Chase

The Lions desperately need a pass rusher to complement defensive end Trey Flowers, a cornerback to complement Darius Slay and a linebacker that can command the middle of the field with pass-coverage ability.

Three names lie in the top 10 of the 2020 NFL Draft class with those skill sets.

But only one is a sure-fire impact player that will immediately remedy Detroit’s defensive front and make it a fearsome defensive line.

His name: Chase Young, the Heisman third-place finisher from Ohio State.

The Bengals are getting the top pick in the 2020 draft, and all signs point toward their choice being LSU Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow.

If the Lions continue to lose and luck out with some Giants, Dolphins and Redskins victories along the way, Young would be the easiest draft choice -- at No. 2 overall -- that the franchise has ever made.

Related

Patricia Discusses Slow Start against Buccaneers  

Inside Story of the "Sell The Team" Fans at Ford Field

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