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Lions Defense Betrays Offense in Loss to Patriots

The Lions’ defense is a work in progress, but with each passing week it becomes more apparent that the missing pieces are killing them.  First and foremost, the announcers were giving Alphonso Smith a difficult time but he wasn’t the issue for the Lions.  The linebacking corps was awful in coverage as they routinely hung the secondary out to dry.

Julian Peterson is playing some of the worst football I have seen in a while.  He looks lost in coverage, his tackling has been terrible and he gets stonewalled whenever he blitzes.  Landon Johnson and Ashlee Palmer are solid backups and special teams players, but they are not starting caliber players.

The Lions were able to contain the Patriots offense in the first half with a solid pass rush that didn’t give Brady the time to pick apart the coverage.  The special teams did a great job beating the Patriots in the field position game both kicking and returning kicks.

The game fell apart for the Lions when Dave Rayner missed a 46 yard field goal and everything unravelled from there.  The defense couldn’t get off the field or out of their own way making the mental mistakes that are all too common this season.

The defensive line’s ineffectiveness stemmed from Kyle Vanden Bosch’s knee injuries limiting him and Cliff Avril gutted out a performance on his injured thigh.  The line just couldn’t sustain their performance and the defense faded heavily in the second half as a result.

As the Lions recover from another Thanksgiving loss, they are faced with two major issues.  The first being health.  The Lions are missing Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, Jason Hanson and Tony Scheffler while Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril, DeAndre Levy, Stephen Peterman, Louis Delmas and Shaun Hill limited by injuries.  That’s pretty much a who’s who of key Lions’ players.

The second issue is the mental mistakes and breakdowns.  Jim Schwartz needs to find a way to get this team to play smarter and they need to respond better to adversity.

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