Detroit’s grip on the NFC North loosens as they fall to New York 6-17

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Dec 18, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Detroit Lions running back Dwayne Washington (36) is tackled by New York Giants defensive end Kerry Wynn (72) during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After the win last week, the Lions knew they were facing a rough stretch of road games. The Giants and Cowboys are two of the most talented teams in the NFL and the Lions were going to have to play both of them on the road.

It was a defensive showdown from the very start, and in the end the Giants won off the strength of their defense and Beckham. This was a prove game for the Lions and they just couldn’t get it going offensively.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Lions. The big takeaways from the game were:

Stafford’s didn’t seem too impeded by hand injury

Stafford wasn’t the comeback king on Sunday, but he had some beautiful throws that should comfort Lions fans worried about his health as the final two games of the season draw closer. He was 24/39 and 273 yards against a stout Giants defense and with that performance worries about his hand moving forward should be slightly assuaged.

Lions still have no running game

The best way to aid an injured quarterback is a solid running game and the Lions couldn’t establish one. Zenner fumbled the ball in the red zone and negated a big Stafford/Tate throw to give the ball back to the Giants. Washington had 14 carries for 31 yards, with a long run of 12 yards that throws off how bad his actual yards per carry was. Zenner had a better yards per carry (3 rushes for 12 yards) but the fumble reduced his carries moving forward. If the Lions are to be taken seriously as a threat in the NFC they need to become more balanced offensively.


AROUND COVER32

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This Lions defense is more than just a flash in the pan

This Lion’s secondary is one of the better secondaries in football and they played an exceptional game against the Giants offense. Beckham only had six catches for 64 yards and that game winning touchdown catch that was more of a feat of shear talent rather than a failing on the part of the Lions. Ziggy Ansah had one of his best games of the season and it’s good to see this Lions defense continue to advance.

The Lions won’t make the playoffs if they lose the North

With the surging Packers hot on their heels the Lions are feeling the pressure to hold onto the NFC North and that elusive playoff spot. Looking at the different playoff permutations it’s becoming clear that the Lions aren’t going to get a Wild Card spot, so it’s win or go home from this point forward.

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