A lot went down in NFL Week 9 and as reported by Bovada Sportsbook, last Sunday all home teams won and cover (the Jaguars played in London) but let’s break down two of the main storylines before Week 10.
Detroit’s Defense is Miserable
The Lions have struggled on defense this season and there are many reasons why but their star cornerback Darius Slay tried to come up with an explanation. Slay spoke after Sunday’s 31-24 loss against the Raiders and detailed that the team is close to solving their problems but haven’t managed to put all the pieces together in the right places.
“It was just rough,” Slay told reporters after the game. “We just got to figure out a way how to put all this stuff together, man. We got a great team, we got all the right pieces, but it just ain’t sticking together. Like, I don’t know, we might be putting the pieces to the puzzle in the wrong spot. That’s what it is. We’re putting the puzzles in the wrong spot right now.”
This visit to the Raiders was a winnable game for the Lions but what was supposed to be a strength let them down once again. Detroit tied the game with time running down in the fourth quarter before giving it away with a poor play call and losing.
The offense did their part, Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 41 passes for 406 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, Kenny Golladay caught four passes for 132 yards and one touchdown and Marvin Jones Jr. had eight receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown but the defense gave up 450 total yards to the Raiders, including 171 yards on the ground.
Detroit is now just 3-4-1 and they didn’t take advantage of the fact that Green Bay, Minnesota and Chicago lost their games. The Lions were basically their own worst enemy in a big game, again…
Matt Patricia was hired to fix the defense and help the Lions have a better chance of being competitive but this unit has been a mess this season. Their offense has put them in a position to win games, scoring enough points but Patricia’s scheme and the execution have been poor to say the least. Look at their attempts to stop the run, Patricia just has no answers.
While they’ve had injuries… there are no excuses, if a team scores 24 points on the road they should be able to win those games or at least be more competitive. He has to find a way to turn this defense around or their already slim playoff hopes will disappear completely.
Fixing the pass rush would be a good way to start. Opposing quarterbacks are getting way too much time to figure out what to do and throw the ball. Trey Flowers has stepped up recently but no one is helping him and he can’t do it alone. Romeo Okwara, Devon Kennard and company haven’t gotten the job done and this team won’t go far unless they do.
Patriots Suffer First Loss of The Season
The Patriots lost 37-20 against the Ravens on Sunday Night Football as they couldn’t counter star quarterback Lamar Jackson and slow down the running game.
This was the biggest test of the season for the New England Patriots and they got a bit of a reality check. Baltimore took a 17-0 lead in the second quarter and while New England made it 17-13 at the half, they were outscored 20-7 the rest of the way and didn’t really have an answer to their opponent.
Tom Brady did complete 30 of 46 passes for 285 yards and one touchdown with one interception and James White had 38 rushing yards and one touchdown on nine carries and two receptions for 46 yards but Sony Michel didn’t show up, he ran for just 18 yards on four carries and caught one pass for 12 yards.
Mohamed Sanu did his part though, catching 10 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown in just his second game with the team. The Pats traded for him on October 22, sending a second-round pick to the Falcons and his play was among the few encouraging signs in the loss.