3 Takeaways from Lions' Week 2 Loss

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2021

3 Takeaways from Lions' Week 2 Loss

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    The Detroit Lions were done in by self-inflicted issues in Monday night's 35-17 defeat to the Green Bay Packers

    Detroit went into the locker room with a three-point halftime advantage, but that evaporated fast in the second half. 

    Green Bay opened the half with a touchdown and then the mistakes began to pile up for the 0-2 Lions.

    Head coach Dan Campbell made the right call go for it on 4th-and-1 on Detroit's opening drive of the second half, but the play dialed up for that down was far from ideal.

    After that, the play of the Lions offense regressed greatly. Jared Goff turned the ball over on two occasions and the other drives resulted in a punt and turnover on downs. 

    Although there were some positives to pull from the first half, the second half debacle is what Monday's loss will be remembered for more. 

Wrong Play Was Called for Critical 4th-and-1

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    The Lions answered the Packers' first touchdown of the second half with a drive that pushed them to the Packers' 25-yard line. 

    At that point, Detroit's offense was playing with confidence and it needed a touchdown to keep pace with the Packers. 

    Campbell made the right call by going for it on 4th-and-1 at the Green Bay 25, but the decisions made after that should come under fire. 

    Goff dropped back to attempt a short pass to Quintez Cephus and the ball came up short. Cephus played well on Monday, but the Lions did not need to force the ball into him.

    D'Andre Swift earned a pair of short gains on that drive and he could have been used to gain one more yard before going back to the air. 

    Instead, Goff unleashed a quick pass to the left and that triggered an unraveling on both sides of the ball. 

    Green Bay enforced its will on the game with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that took five minutes and 46 seconds off the clock. 

    After a Goff fumble on Detroit's next series, Green Bay needed five plays to find itself in the end zone again.

    If Detroit converted that critical 4th-and-1, it would have had a chance to match Green Bay's first touchdown of the second half and it might have been more competitive deep into the fourth quarter. 

Jared Goff Needs to Stop Turning the Ball over

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    Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

    Goff's fumble and interception on two of the three drives that followed the failed fourth-down conversion killed any hopes of a Detroit comeback. 

    Goff's first turnover came on a failed snap between himself and center Frank Ragnow. Ragnow's snap was clean, but Goff pulled his hand away too fast and the ball dropped on the ground. 

    The Lions quarterback could have prevented his interception in the fourth quarter. He tried to force a ball into Trinity Benson while rolling to his right. 

    Goff was unable to put the proper arm strength on the throw and it resulted in his second interception as a Lions player. 

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft has had trouble with turnovers for most of his career. He had 13 interceptions and seven fumbles in his final season with the Los Angeles Rams.

    Goff has 57 interceptions and 43 fumbles in six-year career. If he continues to make mistakes, the Lions will be out of games faster since they are working with a smaller margin for error. 

Secondary Depth Became Even Thinner

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Detroit's margin for error is so small because of the talent gap it has to make up between it and most its opponents. 

    That gap became even larger after defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu went down with a thigh injury after he was burned on a 50-yard pass play from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams. 

    Campbell said after the game that Melifonwu will miss some time with the injury, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

    "It’s a bad one," Campbell said. "It looks like he’ll be out for a little bit."

    Detroit was already down one cornerback after Jeff Okudah suffered an Achilles injury in Week 1's loss to the San Francisco 49ers

    Amari Oruwariye, A.J. Parker, Bobby Price and Jerry Jacobs are the only healthy corners on the roster at the moment. 

    The injuries may force the Lions to dip into the free-agent market to sign a veteran cornerback if that is possible. 

    If not, Detroit's secondary could take more lumps in the coming weeks. The Baltimore Ravens come to Ford Field on Sunday. Chicago, Minnesota, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Rams come after that.

    With Marquise Brown, Allen Robinson, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Ja'Marr Chase, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and more coming up in those matchups, Detroit could be in for a long few weeks. 

    If that is the case, most of the No. 1 wide receivers on those teams should be targeted in daily fantasy football contests.