The Lions may be the favorites to win the NFC North, but they didn’t look like a playoff team today — outside the second quarter.
Despite outscoring Pittsburgh 27-6 in the second quarter, Detroit got destroyed in the other three quarters of the game, squandered a halftime lead and lost 37-27.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were great in that high-scoring second quarter, but they were nowhere to be found for most of the rest of the game. Amazingly, the Lions never even threw a pass to Megatron in the third quarter after he had reeled off an incredible 163 receiving yards in the second quarter.
For Pittsburgh, the story of the game was Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to pick apart Detroit’s secondary, completing 29 of 45 passes for 367 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Two of those touchdown passes went to Antonio Brown, who finished with 147 receiving yards.
For Detroit, the story of the game was an absolute collapse in the second half, when the defense couldn’t get off the field and the offense only had one sustained drive — and that drive ended with no points when a fake field goal was unsuccessful.
The Lions are still, at 6-4, the leaders in the NFC North, pending the results of the Bears’ and Packers’ games. But if they want to be a playoff team, they’re going to have to play a whole lot better than they did today.