Lions Fall To Falcons, 23-16, For Second Loss In A Row - Pride Of Detroit. While the Packers keep winning, the Lions have now lost two games at home that I expected them to win. What looked like a two-way battle for the NFC North crown is becoming a battle for second place as the Bears are now only one game behind the Lions.
Aside from the taunting, there's nothing wrong with their defense. Matt Ryan had one touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions. Michael Turner had a 50 yard run, but he only had 72 yards on his other 26 carries. The Falcons scored five times, but they benefited from a lot of good field position (four of their five scoring drives were for 51 yards or less).
Sean Yuille described the offense as in a funk, but that might be too kind. This was also their first game without Jahvid Best for anyone's guess at how long he'll be out. He's a good runner, but he might be more valuable as a receiver. TE Brandon Pettigrew is a nice check down option (4 receptions against the Falcons, none longer than 9 yards), but otherwise their offense is now Calvin Johnson or bust.
They've tried to bring in a solid No. 2 WR with Nate Burleson in free agency and Titus Young in the draft. Instead, those two receivers combined for one reception and one yard (on six targets). Their offense reminds me of the 2006 Packers that were Donald Driver or bust (with some help from Ahman Green), and that wasn't enough either as those Packers struggled to finish 8-8.
The new problem to deal with is the injury to Matthew Stafford. Despite having a solid backup in Shaun Hill, the Lions are still better off with Stafford. He's feeling about as well as can be expected, but he's not certain to play against the Broncos.
These two losses aren't a sign the bottom is about to fall out. They do have a tough schedule ahead with six of their remaining nine games against teams that currently have winning records. But they'll be a lot better off if Stafford and Best can return sooner than later, and if they can find a way to work some more players into the offense.