Takeaways from offense’s performance in Week 5 vs. Vikings

The Detroit Lions offensive on Sunday was largely offensive. So what exactly went wrong when you lost to the Vikings?

The Detroit Lions fell in their typical devastating way on Sunday with a final score of 7:17 PM against the Minnesota Vikings. They were 16-9 behind in the fourth quarter, 42 seconds behind. Then, after getting a short field from a turnover, they scored a touchdown and turned a two-point conversion into a 17-16 with 37 seconds left. But as Lions fans, we all know how this ends.

There was far too much time on the clock for this Detroit defense to stop. The Vikings drove down and kicked a game-winning field goal as time ran out to win.

Head coach Dan Campbell’s 0-5 record is now equated to worst by a Lions coach to open his first season since Rod Marinelli’s 0-5 in 2006. Although it looks like the Lions should have a few wins, they are still playing to stay competitive and keep the games close, which is all you can ask for in the first year of rebuilding (again).

Here are some key offensive lessons from the Lions’ week 5 loss to the Vikings.

Sales

The Lions would be in a much better position late in the games if they could eliminate the sales. It seems like every quarterback wants to blame Jared Goff (who is by no means off the hook), but the offensive has to hold up and create cleaner pockets too. Goff’s interceptions and fumbles were extremely frustrating. He fumbled again in the first half today. He also forced a throw into strong cover and he was picked up.

Third down efficiency

The Lions were 3 out of 11 (27.3 percent) on the third Downs Sunday, which won’t get the job done in any game. You need to be more efficient on the third down, ideally with shorter distances, which obviously helps that percentage. The Lions are at the bottom of the NFL in third-down efficiency at 33 percent this season. The third down play calls are pretty predictable, so offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn needs to start messing things up better.

Detroit’s defensive problems were minor before the Vikings final drive on Sunday as the young defensive scored two ball losses and kept Minnesota on 19 points. This is the lowest number of points any Lions opponent has ever received for that year. The responsibility for this loss rests with the Lions’ offense.

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