LIONS INSIDER

Twentyman: The No. 1 reason the Lions are 4-6

Posted Nov 19, 2012

"There are a lot of reasons the Lions are 4-6 after their recent defeat at the hands of the Packers, but it was quarterback Aaron Rodgers who probably did the best job of explaining it … and he wasn’t even talking about the Lions when he said it."

A 24-20 loss to the Packers Sunday has likely spelled the end of the Lions’ playoff hopes unless they can muster some kind of unimaginable six-game run to finish the season.

There are a lot of reasons the Lions are 4-6 after their recent defeat at the hands of the Packers, but it was quarterback Aaron Rodgers who probably did the best job of explaining it … and he wasn’t even talking about the Lions when he said it.

"We just had to have it," Rodgers said when asked why his offense started clicking late in the fourth quarter when they needed a touchdown drive to win. "You know, we talked about it on the sidelines and said if our defense holds, it gives us a chance to win it and we’ve got to make the most of it.

"We didn’t play our best on offense, but when our best was needed we were able to come through."

That, folks, sums up why the Lions are 4-6. When their best has been needed, more often than not, they’ve failed to come through.

Whether that be in overtime on the road at Tennessee or late in the fourth quarter last week at Minnesota or Sunday against Green Bay, the Lions haven’t made the key stop here or the key play there on offense to win games.

Needing a touchdown to put the game away late in the fourth quarter, the Lions were stuffed on two run plays up the middle from the Packers’ 10-yard line and were denied the endzone on third down when receiver Titus Young failed to separate from a defender and then slipped down.

Receiver Calvin Johnson caught five passes for 143 yards and the Lions' only second-half touchdown, but was targeted just once in the fourth quarter and not once on that final three-play sequence when the Lions could have iced the game with a touchdown.

The defense played good for three-and-a-half quarters against a potent offense and the reigning MVP quarterback, but couldn't get off the field when the game was on the line.

They allowed Rodgers to go 82 yards in just six plays for the go-ahead touchdown. Even on the 22-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb, two Lions defenders failed to make a play on what was essentially a jump ball.

"It hurts," linebacker Justin Durant said. "To play as well as we did for basically the first 57 minutes of the game, then to lose it like that, it hurts. Just got to finish, and that's something that we didn't do."

That’s been the case too many times this year, unfortunately.

"The season ain't over, man," Johnson said. "We got six games left. I don't know what the (playoff) picture looks like, but that's what we're fighting for. We’re fighting for our lives."

The Lions will fight, but In the end, it’s always about execution. The playoff teams make plays when they have to. The teams at home in January wonder how they let so many slip away.