- The slow starts by the Lions are really starting to hurt them
When the Lions get off to a slow start, they are able to overcome that and make a miraculous comeback. This was almost the case this week, but when the team got down 27 to 10 early in the 3rd quarter, this was looking like a hole that they couldn’t crawl out of. Along with that, when the Lions were trying to mount their comeback, in situations where they needed touchdowns, they settled for field goals. Against a top team like the Vikings, they are too good of a team to let a 17 point lead go.
2. If you win the coin toss and decide to receive, at least get points out of it
As conservative as Jim Caldwell is, it surprised me that he decided to receive when winning the coin toss. This aggressiveness didn’t pay off as the Lions went three and out on the first drive. Along with that, after punting to Minnesota, they proceeded to drive down the field and score a touchdown on their first drive, putting the Lions down early. Also, when the Vikings got their first drive in the second half, they scored too. That is a 14 point swing all because of a decision on the coin toss. Now, who knows if the Lions would’ve been able to even stop them on driving down the field anyways, but when both of those scores get you down, it is tough to overcome that.
- The road to the postseason just got much tougher
Losing this game was already difficult enough because the Lions just lost their best chance to win the NFC North. But, the road to just get a playoff spot from the Wild Card just got that much more difficult too. With the Panthers at 7-3, and the Falcons (who have the tie breaker from earlier this year) at 6-4, even going 9-7 may not be good enough for a playoff spot. With that being said, the best chance for the Lions to make the playoffs is to probably win out. This can be done as most of the teams they play are below .500, but this team has had games that they should’ve won before and haven’t been able to.
With this loss, the Lions are now 3-1 in the division and now have a 6-5 overall record. The Lions need some help from other teams if they really want to fight for a playoff spot. With important divisional games and winnable games against the Bengals, Ravens, and Buccaneers coming up, the Lions really control their own destiny. It will be very intriguing to see how this team can handle being in a uncomfortable situation like this.