Burning Questions: Good start – all 20 seconds of it – and a long, bad finish in the Detroit Lions' 48-17 loss to the New York Jets in head coach Matt Patricia's debut at Ford Field Monday night:
Question: Was it as bad as it looked?
It wasn't worse. It wasn't better.
It was just as bad as it looked, and that says all that needs to be said.
Q. Panic: Is it time to push the panic button and make wholesale changes?
A. No. If things continue the way they did Monday night, then that might be the thing to do. But for now, as bad as it was, it has to be taken as one very bad game and then move on to the next one. It won't be easy playing the 49ers on the road on Sunday, but it wouldn't have been easy even if the Lions had won the opener 3-0 or 50-0.
That's the nature of the NFL. You move on, no matter what.
Q. Silver lining: Isn't that one-game-at-a-time approach looking for a silver lining?
A. No, because there wasn't one in losing to the Jets. Nothing good came out of that game. Certainly, there was nothing good about the performance, and the fact that Ziggy Ansah left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return made it worse for the future.
However, the Lions are under pressure now to bounce back – and fast.
Q. High point: What was it?
A. It was Quandre Diggs' interception and 37-yard return for a touchdown on the first play of the game. It was a dream beginning for Patricia and his team. What happened after that was a nightmare that lasted 59 minutes and 40 seconds.
Q. Low point: What was it?
A. It wasn't one play. Instead, it was the entire sequence after the Lions scored a touchdown in the first two minutes to make it 17-17. It looked like the offense had finally got in sync.
It was a four-play, 75-yard drive, with all the yards coming on four straight completions by Matthew Stafford. Golden Tate got the touchdown on a 24-yard catch and run.
As badly as the Lions had played in trailing, 17-10, at halftime, it looked like they were going to take over the game.
Just the opposite happened. The Jets took over. They ran the Lions right out of Ford Field
Q. Jets streak: They scored 31 straight points to go from the 17-17 tie to a 48-17 lead. Did they do everything right?
A. Either they did everything right, or the Lions did everything wrong. All three phases of the game contributed to the 31 points – and that's for both teams. The Jets were good on offense, defense and special teams. The Lions were bad on all three phases.
The Jets scored on a touchdown pass and touchdown run by the offense, an interception return for a touchdown by the defense, and a punt return touchdown and a field goal by the special teams.
Q. Matthew Stafford: He had four interceptions and a touchdown pass. Rate his performance.
A. He was the second best quarterback in the game. Jets rookie Sam Darnold, making his first pro start, was the best. After having an interception returned for a touchdown on the first play of the game, he settled down and looked like an All Pro.
Maybe the Lions' defense, or lack of it, made him look that way. For whatever reason, he looked like a polished pro. The way the Jets controlled the game allowed him to play a tight, controlled game, and he didn't have to throw often. But when he did, he connected – 16 of 21 for 198 yards and two TDs.
Except for the third-quarter TD drive, Stafford and his receivers never meshed. He had four interceptions. And there was no running game, even when the score was close.