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Vikings vs. Lions: Special Teams, Defensive Line Struggle in Detroit Loss

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 30:  Ricardo Silva #39 of the Detroit Lions tips away a pass to Percy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on September 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images
Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

Last week the Lions' special teams units allowed a pair of return touchdowns that, while bad, were not the end of the world. They were ugly and shouldn't have happened, but in the end, there were many issues that factored into that loss.

Not this week, where the difference was the 105-yard kick return touchdown by Percy Harvin and the 77-yard Marcus Sherels punt return touchdown.

The Lions have to take a long, hard, serious look at the coverage teams for both punt and kick units as they cannot give up two touchdown a week on returns.

The defensive line was largely ineffective, allowing Adrian Peterson to break off run after run, and while not allowing quarterback Christian Ponder to throw for tons of yards (or touchdowns), they did allow him way too much time to move the ball and burn clock.

Where is the nasty line we expected this season? Why are the ends unable to get consistent production? Where are the tackles to slow the run up?

There are certainly issues here, and the Lions need to pinpoint them during the bye week before they take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Offensively, it's just taking too long to get going at the start of the game. 

For an offense which totaled 319 yards through the air, the Lions looked pretty harmless. The Vikings were content to allow them to march up and down the field as long as they didn't score, and unfortunately, for the most part they couldn't.

The running game went off the rails this week as well, and for sure you can bet Jim Schwartz will be working to improve that this bye week.

At the end of the day, though, the defense and special teams were what let the team down this week, and that is what the Lions have to focus on for the game against the Philadelphia Eagles.


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