Three Takeaways from the Detroit Lions loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-17, ending their playoff hopes.

  1. Jim Caldwell needs to be fired at the end of the season

This game really determined whether Jim Caldwell was going to keep his job or not. If he would’ve won this game, the Lions would’ve been tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the final playoff spot. Along with that, they would’ve had a favorable matchup against the Packers at home next week, while the Falcons have an unfavorable matchup against the Panthers. This would’ve given Lions fans hope to make the playoffs and it would’ve been interesting to see how this team would’ve been able to overcome such adversity considering how many injuries they have had. But, after the Bears and Vikings had no problems against the Bengals, the Lions seemed to have problems and because of that, don’t be shocked if Bob Quin pulls the plug on Caldwell being the head coach of the Lions next season.

2. Penalties at the worst time costed this team the game too

When the Lions did have a chance to come back into this game, they committed bad penalties. A false start and a holding call pinned the Lions back in their own territory, and put themselves in too big of a hole to crawl out of. These penalties happened too right after the Bengals took the lead 19-17 mid way through the 4th quarter. This really was the story of the Lions all season and this does fall back on coaching because of it.

3. The Defensive line needs to be improved this off-season

By either using their draft picks, or signing some people in free agency, the Lions need to improve their defensive line drastically. The Lions gave up more than 100 yards rushing in most of their games after Haloti Ngata got hurt and it was obvious that he was missed. Along with that, most of the other guys on the line were just unable to make plays. Ziggy Ansah showed flashes here and there, but the Lions need a guy on the line who is a force. This team doesn’t have that and it has hurt them throughout the year.

Overall, this loss really helped put things in perspective for the Lions. They need to get rid of their coach, and they have multiple areas on the team where they can improve. Hopefully, this can be turned into a learning season and the improvements needed for this team are addressed during the off-season.