The good news for the Detroit Lions is that they’ve made it into the red zone in each of their first three offensive possessions of the season. The bad news is that two of those three possessions ended with Matthew Stafford interceptions.
The Lions had first-and-goal inside the 5-yard line on their first possession when Stafford threw a terrible pass right into the hands of Rams rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins. And the Lions were inside the 20-yard line on their third possession when Stafford threw a terrible pass right into the hands of Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbarr.
Both Jenkins and Dunbarr got long returns, and the Rams kicked field goals on their possessions following both of Stafford’s picks. Fortunately for Detroit, the Lions’ defense has played well, and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are both getting a lot of penetration in the middle of the line.
Other than those two baffling interceptions, Stafford has been throwing the ball well, completing 14 of his other 16 passes. But those big mistakes are the reason this game is close.
UPDATE 2:09 p.m. ET: And just as we wrote this, Stafford threw his third interception of the game, this one returned for a touchdown by Cortland Finnegan, giving the Rams a 13-7 lead.