No one can ever question quarterback Matthew Stafford’s toughness and competitiveness, so to be pulled for backup Matt Cassel late Sunday in yet another Lions blowout loss was a frustrating moment.
“It’s frustrating that that’s the way the game went,” Stafford said of being pulled in the fourth quarter in a 27-9 defeat. “I just want to win games. And when you don’t do it, it’s frustrating.”
Sunday marked the sixth loss this season by double digits for the Lions. The frustration with yet another one of those kinds of losses was felt by more than just Stafford after the game.
“Every week, I hate losing,” linebacker Jarrad Davis said. “I don’t go to work every single day to come out and lose. So, every week when we lose, it’s hard to get over. It’s not something that I’m very fond of, it’s not something I like to do.”
The loss drops the Lions to 5-10 on the year, something defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois hasn’t been too used to in his career. He was asked after the game if enough players have bought into what Matt Patricia and the new coaching staff were trying to implement in their first season.
“That’s the million dollar question and we need an answer,” he said after the game. “I wish I knew. It’s not even just buying into what’s going on, it’s buying into the preparation, buying into the process, buying into the stuff that they make us go through every week.
“I would just, excuse my French, just be damned if I go to work every week, preparing myself, look at film, live inside the training facility, do everything that this coach asked me to do to come out here and keep explaining this. Like, it bothers me.”
The Lions have been decimated by injuries all season, especially over the last month and a half.
Add three more names to the list Sunday against Minnesota.
Tight end Luke Willson suffered a concussion in the first half and did not return. The Lions are already without tight end Michael Roberts, who’s on IR with a shoulder injury.
Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson injured his knee and also did not return. The Lions are already without rookie interior defender Da’Shawn Hand, who they placed on IR with a knee injury last week.
Cornerback DeShawn Shead also left the game and did not return due to a knee injury.
- The Lions were flagged for a false start on an early field-goal attempt at the Vikings' 12-yard line trying to draw Minnesota offside on 4th and 3. All the offensive linemen made a sudden movement as if to set themselves. The Vikings did jump, but it was ruled to be too abrupt a movement and thus a foul, at least that’s the explanation Patricia got from the officials. “We were trying to get one,” he said.
- Defensive end Romeo Okwara recorded another sack, giving him a career-high 7.5, which also leads the Lions this season.
- Detroit did a much better job protecting Stafford this time around vs. the Vikings. Stafford was hit 17 times and sacked 10 times in the first meeting. Those totals dropped to eight hits and three sacks the second time around. The Vikings' defense did record 12 tackles for loss.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Week 16 game against the Minnesota Vikings.