Burning questions: Asking if it's time to worry about the Detroit Lions after Friday night's 30-17 loss to the New York Giants, strategy questions and other issues as the Lions fell to 0-2 in the preseason.
Question: The Lions were beaten from start to finish by the Giants to remain winless in the preseason. Is it time to worry about how they stand after two preseason games?
Answer: It's time to play better on both sides of the ball. They've got one real chance to do that – in the third preseason game on the road against Tampa Bay next Friday night. If they have another performance like the one against the Giants, then it's time to worry.
For now, I'll just repeat that it's time to get better – and there is plenty of room to do that on offense and defense.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions preseason game against the New York Giants.
Q. What was most glaring against the Giants?
A. The Lions never had the edge. They looked a step slow all game long. They never looked like the better team until late in the game, when Jake Rudock got the offense going with the Giants firmly in control.
The Giants dominated the first half – especially up front on both lines – to hold a 17-3 lead at the intermission. They had a 155-89 edge in yards gained, and the Lions converted only one of six third-down situations.
What really stood out was how the offensive line failed to show any real improvement, and that included the starting unit and the reserves.
Q. Drive time – Giants: They drove 79 yards on 17 plays and two penalties to a touchdown for a 7-3 lead. What was most disappointing about the Lions' defense on that scoring drive?
A. It was their inability to make stops on third down. The Giants converted two third downs on pass completions to keep the drive going, set up a fourth and one on another completion, and finish off the drive with an eight-yard pass to Wayne Gallman on third and goal from the eight for the touchdown.
Q. Key conversion: Which one hurt the most?
A. Obviously it was the last one because it went for a touchdown on a third and goal. But before that, the first one did the most damage. The Giants were in a hole, facing third and 17 at their 14. A stop would have given the Lions good field position to add to their 3-0 lead.
Instead, Sterling Shepard beat Nevin Lawson for a 24-yard catch and a first down at the 41. The Giants had field position to operate anyway they wanted to. They rolled from there.
They were also helped by an interference call in the end zone against Darius Slay that made it first and goal.
Q. Davis beaten: Gallman got a step on middle linebacker Jarrad Davis and had an easy catch for a touchdown. How did Davis play overall?
A. He would have liked to have his play back on the TD catch. That's one he has to make to force the opponent to settle for a field goal.
Davis started strong. He dropped running back Jonathan Stewart for a one-yard loss on the Giants' first offensive play of the game, and on third down he tackled him for a five-yard loss to force a punt. Pass coverage is something he's been working on. He still needs work.
Q. Review – Giant win: It looked like the Lions had made a big defensive play with a forced fumble and return to the Giants' one-yard line in the first quarter. The Lions could have added to their 3-0 lead. Any doubt about the review overturning the fumble?
A. No. I thought from watching it live that it was an incomplete pass. Ricky Jean Francois hit Giants quarterback Davis Webb with a hard rush, and the ball came out of Webb's hand.
It went forward, with a throwing motion. That made it an incomplete forward pass, not a fumble.
Bad call initially by the officials. Good review.
Bottom line: They got it right on the review – like they should have in the first place. Giants ball.
Q. Lions, fourth and kick: On fourth and one at the Giants' 31 with 21 seconds left, head coach Matt Patricia went for the field goal instead of going for the first down. It was 10-3 at the time. Right call?
A. I'd call it a surprising call, not the wrong call. Being tougher and stronger has been one of the goals for this season. Winning in short yardage – converting on offense, getting stops on defense – is an important part of that. It would have been a good chance to test where the offense stood.
Instead, Patricia elected to go for the field goal. Matt Prater's kick hit the right upright.
Q Lions, fourth and run: The Lions went for it on fourth and two at the Giants' nine-yard line late in the fourth quarter. LeGarrette Blount was thrown for a one-yard loss. Right call to go for it there instead of kicking a field goal?
A. It's what I would have done, and for the same reasons I would have gone for it in the first half instead of trying a field goal.
The Lions were one of the league's worst short-yardage teams last year. It's something that needs work. So work on it. No problem with that decision.