Lions vs. Vikings: What Just Happened?

Pride of Detroit

There was a lot of hope that this type of stuff was done in Detroit. That the days of the Detroit Lions losing in embarrassing fashion with seriously questionable coaching decisions were over. Sunday’s 28-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings showed that it sure isn’t.

As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts:

Bad coaching loses games

I love Dan Campbell. I really do. But what he did in the closing minutes of the game on Sunday was some of the worst coaching we’ve seen in Detroit in a while. Maybe there’s some hyperbole there. I don’t know. Faced with a fourth-and-4 on the Vikings’ 36-yard line with under 1:20 left and Minnesota without any timeouts, Campbell elected to try for a field goal. If it works, then I suppose you could make an argument that the Lions could push the Vikings back with the kick off and force them to score a touchdown. The bad part of that is that kicker Austin Seibert had been having a bad game all day.

The Lions should have punted. If you wanted to be aggressive, maybe go for it on fourth down there. Even that would have been better than what the Lions actually did. Instead they put the ball back into the Vikings’ hands and they went down field and scored the go-ahead touchdown.

That’s not the worst part, though. The worst part is when Dan Campbell, for some reason, called a timeout when the clock was running on the Vikings. Why on Earth would you do something like that? The Vikings scored on the next play. Just really bad stuff all around.

Not taking advantage

One of the hardest things to watch when it comes to the Lions losing games like this is knowing that they didn’t have to. The Lions were up 10 points when they forced a Dalvin Cook fumble. Instead of getting more points on the board, the Lions went three-and-out and gave the Vikings the ball right back. The Lions defense forced a three-and-out in the fourth quarter and did nothing with it. Then they forced a turnover on downs on the ensuing Vikings drive and did nothing with it. The Lions can’t win games if they don’t take advantage of what’s been given to them. If they can’t find a way to become that kind of team, they’ll always be the team that comes close and doesn’t get it done.

Too many pumps

There was some controversy at Sunday’s Lions vs. Vikings game that we must talk about. Did Jamaal Williams put in too many pumps? Let’s go to the film.

Four pumps is too many. You hate to see it.

Is fourth down the one you’re supposed to punt on?

It usually is unless you’re the Detroit Lions. Dan Campbell had the Lions going for it on fourth down all day long, and it just kept working. I don’t know if this is because Campbell has a lot of faith in his offense or he has concerns about the defense or special teams, but this team became a full on four-down team in Minnesota. They went for it on fourth down six times and converted on four of those attempts. Unfortunately the Lions did not convert on the biggest fourth down of the game when Jamaal Williams got stopped on a 4th-and-1.

Injury bug

The Lions got bit by the injury bug on Sunday. The bug didn’t just bite anyone, it went for the big ones with Tracy Walker, D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown. The two latter players wound up staying in the game, but you could tell the injuries affected their abilities. Walker unfortunately was ruled out for the rest of the game after he was taken out on a cart. We’ll see how bad these injuries wind up being soon enough, but the Lions should really hope they don’t lose any of these guys for any extended period of time.

Speaking of St. Brown….

The Sun God flew

Bad Amani

This was a very rough game for Amani Oruwariye. Oruwariye got flag after flag after flag. A total of five to be exact. You just can’t have it anymore. The worst was when Oruwariye got back-to-back flags in the fourth quarter on a drive that helped the Vikings bring the game to within three points. This is the stuff that loses you football games. Dumb penalties. The Lions managed to avoid this stuff in the first two week. For most part they did it again in Week 3… except for Oruwariye.

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