The Lions had five turnovers Sunday on their way to a 24-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Luckily, they remain in first place due to a loss by Chicago and the tie between Green Bay and Minnesota. The NFC North is up for grabs. This is the second straight week that the Lions could have padded their lead but failed to do so. The Lions are looking like anything but a playoff team.
Matthew Stafford had a rough day as he threw four interceptions. The Lions had five turnovers on the day while Tampa Bay had none. In the second quarter, Stafford was intercepted when Brandon Pettigrew ducked a pass and it was returned for a touchdown. Two of the other interception hit off of Lion’s receivers. However, his interception in the third quarter was no one’s fault but his own.
Four of the five Lions turnovers Sunday were just plain unlucky. Along with three fluke interceptions, Kris Durham fumbled a ball on the sideline. He caught a pass and then as he tried to stay inbounds he flipped the ball on the field. The ball landed back on the field and was picked up by the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay was not free of their own mistakes as they missed two field goals.
Calvin Johnson was mostly held in check while Darrelle Revis was on the field. Revis then left the game with an injury and Johnson was able to reach the 100 yard mark. He ended the day with 7 catches for 115 yards but no touchdowns.
Nate Bureleson returned from injury Sunday and had a productive performance. He caught 7 balls on 10 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. It was good to see Bureleson jump right back into the offense and be able to produce. Stafford threw his other two touchdowns to Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Fauria now has 11 catches on the season with 6 of them being touchdowns.
Reggie Bush had a productive day as he rushed for 83 yards on 15 carries. He was less effective in the passing game as he only caught four balls for 17 yards. Joique Bell was ineffective Sunday, rushing 6 times for 15 yards. The Lions offense was able to rack up 390 total yards on the day.
The Lion’s defense was able to hold Tampa Bay to 229 yards of total offense. Bobby Rainey was held to 35 yards on 18 carries after his breakout game last week. This loss was not on the Lions defense. The offense made too many mistakes and it cost them a one game division lead.
The Lions are on short rest as they play Green Bay on Thanksgiving. This game is a must win.