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4 Takeaways from Lions' 28-19 Loss to Rams

The Detroit Lions lose their seventh consecutive game to start the 2021 season.

On a fall Sunday afternoon, the Detroit Lions attempted to execute their own version of a Hollywood ending. 

For a team that was coming off its worst performance last weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Detroit Lions did all they could to compete against the Los Angeles Rams. 

Unfortunately, there would be no fairy tale ending, as the Lions went on to lose to Matthew Stafford and the Rams at SoFi Stadium. 

Here are the four takeaways from the Lions' 28-19 loss to the Rams.

Lions were willing to take repeated risks to gain and keep momentum 

The Lions certainly appeared to take this game very seriously, as the entire roster appeared at SoFi Stadium with focus and a desire to compete with one of the elite teams in the NFC.

After Detroit's offense executed an explosive play to take a 7-0 lead, Dan Campbell called a surprise onside kick that was actually recovered by Detroit. 

After the drive stalled, punter Jack Fox tossed a 17-yard completion to cornerback Bobby Price. 

The drive resulted in a field goal that gave the Lions an early 10-0 lead.

In the second half, Campbell again called a fake punt, which came early in the third quarter. This time, it came in the form of a direct snap to C.J. Moore that netted Detroit 28 yards and an extra possession that began on the Rams' 37-yard line.

Lions' defense could not stop Rams' offense on third down

By the fourth quarter, Stafford and the Rams' offense were able to execute on 8-of-11 third downs. 

For a Lions defense in need of making plays, it simply was unable to make the key defensive play to keep the Rams off the scoreboard. 

Second-year defensive lineman Julian Okwara performed at a high level for Detroit's defense, and has been an adequate addition since his brother Romeo Okwara was lost for the season. But, Stafford was not pressured nearly enough to disrupt Sean McVay's passing attack. 

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Limiting Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp connection was nearly impossible 

In the first half, Stafford was 17-of-23 passing for 166 yards and two touchdowns, with a quarterback rating of 122.7.

Stafford's connection with Cooper Kupp this season has wreaked havoc on many defenses, and Sunday was no different. 

Kupp secured seven first-half receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown grab.

He added another TD early in the fourth quarter, allowing the Rams to retake the lead. Earlier in the drive, Kupp beat Daryl Worley for a 59-yard gain. Stafford was easily able to look off a Lions safety to allow Kupp room to work his way open. 

To further exemplify Kupp and Stafford's connection, the 28-year-old wideout is the first receiver in the Super Bowl era to record 800 or more yards receiving, to go along with nine or more touchdowns, through the first seven games of the regular season. 


Lions have not learned how to effectively execute during short-yardage situations

Trailing 17-16 in the third quarter and having successfully gained another possession following a fake punt, Detroit marched down the field to the Rams' 18-yard line. 

On two consecutive plays, Detroit was stuffed on short-yardage plays. 

Instead of kicking the field goal to take the lead, Campbell elected to go for it on fourth down. 

Instead of calling a run play for Jamaal Williams, who is a bigger running back, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn opted for a run play for Swift that failed to secure the first down. 

In the fourth quarter, Williams did have his number called on short yardage situations, which produced first downs for the Lions' offense.