Detroit Lions: Takeaways from the offense in Week 5 loss to the Vikings

SideLion Report

The Detroit Lions’ offensive was mostly offensive on Sunday, so what specifically went wrong in the loss to the Vikings?

The Detroit Lions fall to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in their typical devastating fashion by a final score of 19-17. They trailed 16-9 with 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Then after being given a short field by a turnover, they scored a touchdown and converted a  two-point conversion to take a 17-16 with 37 seconds left in the game. But as a Lions fan, we all know how this ends.

There was way too much time left on the clock for this Detroit defense to make a stop. The Vikings drove down and kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to win.

Head coach Dan Campbell’s 0-5 record is now tied for the worst by a Lions coach to open his first season since Rod Marinelli went 0-5 in 2006. Although it seems like the Lions should have a few wins, they’re still playing competitive and keeping games close, which is all you can ask for in year one of rebuilding (again).

Here some key offensive takeways from the Lions Week 5 loss to the Vikings.

Turnovers

The Lions would be in a much better position late in games if they can eliminate the turnovers. It seems like everyone wants to blame quarterback, Jared Goff (who by no means is off the hook), but also the offensive line needs to hold up and help create cleaner pockets. The interceptions and fumbles by Goff have been extremely frustrating. He fumbled in the first half today, again. He also forced a throw into heavy coverage and it got picked off.

Third Down Efficiency

The Lions were 3 of 11 (27.3 percent) on third downs Sunday, which is not going to get the job done in any game. They need to be more efficient on third down, ideally with shorter distances to get, which will obviously help that percentage. The Lions rank toward the bottom of the NFL in third-down efficiency at 33 percent on the season. The third-down play calls are pretty predictable, so offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn needs to start mixing things up better.

Detroit’s defensive woes were few before the Vikings’ final drive on Sunday, as the young defense created two turnovers and held Minnesota to 19 points. That’s tied for the least amount of points scored by a Lions’ opponent this year. The accountability for this loss lies with the Lions’ offense.

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