LIONS INSIDER

Twentyman: The good and bad from Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay

Posted Nov 25, 2013

Tim Twentyman takes a look at key factors - good and bad - from Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers

Sunday was about as bad of a loss as a playoff contending football team can have.

The first-place Detroit Lions allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the worst record in the NFC, to come into their house and beat them during the stretch run to the playoffs.

The Lions turned the ball over five times and had a punt blocked in the 24-21 loss. Detroit’s lucky that they were in the game at the end and they have two missed field goals from the Bucs in the fourth quarter to thank for that.

As always, the bad outweighs the good in any loss, but that’s especially the case in this one.

Here’s a look at the good and the bad from Sunday’s loss.

THE BAD

SECONDARY PLAY

Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon came in and shredded the Lions secondary to the tune of 14-of-21 passing, 247 yards and two touchdowns. He had a career-best 138.4 passer rating.

It’s the fifth-straight passer to have at least a 100.0 passer rating vs. the Lions defense in the past five games.

It’s unclear whether Chris Houston was supposed to have safety help from Louis Delmas over the top on Tampa Bay’s game-winning 85-yard touchdown pass from Glennon to Tiquan Underwood in the fourth quarter. Frankly, does it even matter who’s fault it was? It happened and it shouldn’t have in that situation.

Underwood became the ninth receiver this season to record at least 100 receiving yards vs. the Lions defense.

We continue to applaud the Lions run defense, but why should opponents run when it’s so easy to throw?

STAFFORD’S PLAY

Four interceptions against a team that’s struggled to score points all season long.

Monday Morning Quarterback columnist Peter King made Stafford his “Goat of the Week” for the interceptions.

The last one to Calvin Johnson wasn’t Stafford’s fault, but the damage had already been done by then.

The last two weeks are exactly why stats count for little in the grand scheme of things.

Stafford has thrown for 659 yards and five touchdowns the last two weeks. He’s also thrown five interceptions and completed less than 50 percent of his passes (48.9 percent) as the Lions have lost both games.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Is there a unit on this team that’s been more erratic than special teams? Some games they’ve played tremendous, others have left fans scratching their heads.

My colleague Mike O’Hara wrote in his Monday Coutdown column that the Lions had two field goals blocked in their previous five seasons. They’ve had two already this season.

Tampa Bay blocked a punt on Sunday, the first blocked punt the Lions have allowed since 2004.

The punt block came in the fourth quarter when a defender came off the right side untouched. Fortunately for the Lions, the Buccaneers missed the chip-shot field goal following the block.

Tampa Bay also averaged 35.2 yards per kickoff return. Only one other time this year (against Dallas) had the Lions allowed an opponent to average more than 30.0 yards per kickoff.

Sunday wasn’t a good day for Lions special teams.

THE GOOD

EDGE RUSHING

Ziggy AnsahDE Ziggy Ansah (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

The Lions were certainly happy to have rookie Ziggy Ansah back after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.

Ansah was dominant against the Bucs with two sacks, two tackles-for-loss and two quarterback hits. He was also stout against the run.

The Lions entered the game with only 16 sacks and got four on Sunday. The other two came from defensive end Willie Young and safety Glover Quin.

Young, who played opposite Ansah, had a fine game in his own right. He seemed to be all over the field and also had a quarterback hit and tackle-for-loss to add to his stat sheet.

Ansah and Young played 81 combined snaps on Sunday, while all other defensive ends played a combine 19.

NATE BURLESON

Burleson picked up right where he left off the last time he was on the field. Before breaking his left forearm in an early morning car wreck, Burleson caught six passes for 116 yards in Washington Week 3.

The 11-year veteran had seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets Sunday. He’s given the Lions another weapon for Stafford in the passing game.

The Lions seemed to go away from Burleson too much in the second half after Darelle Revis went out and the Lions were left scrambling in their secondary.

CAPTAIN JOSH MUNSEE

Captain Munsee lost a spleen, a kidney and almost his life during his first tour in Iraq and still served two additional deployments in Afghanistan.

As part of the Detroit Lions’ annual Salute To Service game, Munsee and the Lions set a special surprise for his wife Michelle and their three young children.

Originally scheduled to come home from duty in February of 2014, Captain Munsee surprised Michelle and his three kids Beccca (5), Henry (3) and Anna Grace (10 months) – with a little help from the Lions – on the field during Sunday’s game.

The Munsee’s will now be able to spend Thanksgiving Day as a family in Grand Rapids.

That’s pretty good.