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RECAP: Lions vs. Buccaneers

It was a tale of two haves for the Lions Sunday at Ford Field hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Lions couldn't have played a worse first half on either side of the football. Detroit went to the half down 21-3 after giving up 336 yards of offense and having just 56 total yards of offense themselves.

After Tampa Bay's second touchdown, a 33-yard pass from Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to wide receiver Scotty Miller, Lions head coach Matt Patricia gathered his defensive players around him on the sideline for a spirited chat.

It was a more inspired Detroit team for most of the second half.

View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 15 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 in Detroit.

Detroit out-gained Tampa Bay 241 yards to 159 in the second 30 minutes, and got within a touchdown at 24-17 late in the fourth quarter, but a Buccaneers interception and 70-yard return for a touchdown by cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting with just over five minutes left in the contest proved to be the nail in the coffin for Detroit, as they dropped their seventh straight, 38-17, and 10th in their last 11. 

Detroit falls to 3-10-1 on the year with the loss. Tampa Bay added a late 25-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes to extend the final lead to 21 points. 

The one bright spot for the Lions Sunday was the play of undrafted rookie running back Wes Hills, who scored both of Detroit's touchdowns on 1-yard runs on back-to-back drives in the second half.

QB comparison: David Blough completed 24 of his 43 passes for 260 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 54.4.

Winston had a big game for the Bucs. He was 28-of-42 passing for 458 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. He finished with a 124.9 passer rating.

Promising trend: The Buccaneers gained just 49 yards rushing Sunday for an average of just 1.68 yards per rush. This is one area where Detroit's been much better. The Lions have held six of their last eight opponents to under 100 yards rushing.

Worrisome trend: The first five opponents the Lions faced this season – Arizona, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Green Bay – didn't have a quarterback finish a game with a passer rating north of 100.0. That list of quarterbacks includes Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Carson Wentz and Philip Rivers.

Minnesota's Kirk Cousins was the first quarterback to reach the 100.0 passer rating mark on the Lions in their Week 7 victory in Detroit. The flood gates opened from there. Winston's passer rating of 124.9 Sunday marks the eighth time in the last nine games the Lions have allowed a passer to have a rating above 100.0.

Injury report: Defensive tackle Mike Daniels left the game in the first half with an arm injury and did not return. It's been an injury-riddled 2019 for Daniels, who missed Weeks 4-9 with a foot injury.

Running back J.D. McKissic left the game in the third quarter with a stinger and also did not return. Guard Kenny Wiggins (arm) and linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring) left late in the third quarter and did not return.

Up next: at Denver (5-9)

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