Needing a key stop
If there's one series that captures the defense's continued inability to come up with key stops in the fourth quarter, it was the Packers' first possession of the fourth quarter.
Following a missed 51-yard field goal by
"It's frustrating because they're not even a running team," linebacker
"We're a much better team than that drive showed and we just have to learn from it."
The drive featured run plays of six, two, 10, nine, 13, five and 14 yards. Five of the runs went to the right, including the touchdown over the right guard.
"We are way better than that," linebacker
But it did happen. In fact, it's been happening a lot, lately, and at all too important times in the games.
The secondary has been the main culprit in blowing leads in the final minutes of the previous three games. The front seven didn't get it done Sunday night at Lambeau Field.
Wrong side of momentum
That's the number of non-defensive touchdowns the Lions have allowed in 13 games this season.
Eight times this season the Lions have been on the wrong end of those momentum-swinging plays.
Sunday it was a 43-yard fumble return touchdown by Mike Daniels that completely changed the complexion of the game in the second quarter. It was similar to the way the kickoff and punt return touchdowns changed the momentum in losses to Tennessee and the first meeting with Minnesota. The same way a 72-yard interception return changed the game in the first loss to the Packers in Week 11.
The Lions continue to be on the wrong side of those plays.
"I think that was a turning point in the game, but we still had plenty of time after that to be able to get things going," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "Particularly the two turnovers, not just one, the seven points, but both of them (Stafford also threw an interception at the Packers 13-yard line on the next possession following the punt).
"We had more chances after that, but that was certainly a turning point in the game."
Performing in the clutch
Midway through he fourth quarter with the Lions down by a touchdown and needing a stop with the ball at the Green Bay 36, they looked to be in a good spot with the Packers facing a 3rd down and 11.
The Lions chose to rush only three lineman on the play and drop eight back into coverage.
"We had used that in the last game in a couple situations," Schwartz said. "It was 3rd down and 11. It's just one of the calls we have in a game."
There are a dozen or so calls every game that can be second-guessed and analyzed, but the one knock on this particular call was that it put the game in the hands of the most inconsistent part of their defense – the secondary.
It also gave the best quarterback in the NFL time to sit in the pocket and wait for someone to become open, which receiver Randall Cobb did for a 38-yard gain.
The Packers ended up kicking a field goal on the drive and putting the game away with a two-possession lead.
With the game on the line the Lions relied on the weakest part of their defense.
Closer to history
That now brings his total to 1,546 on the season - 303 yards away from breaking the record.
Johnson needs to average just 101 yards per game the rest of the way.
He now has 96 receptions for 1,546 yards and five touchdowns on the season.