Vikings 34, Lions 24: Good, Bad and Ugly

Is the sky falling? Not quite yet, writes Detroit Lions insider Mike Mady, but the team didn't help themselves much during Sunday's loss at Minnesota.

The Detroit Lions 34-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings was perhaps the most disappointing of the season thus far.

Riding a two-game winning streak and presented with an outstanding opportunity to make significant progress within the standings of a crowded conference, hopes were high for this Week 10 match-up.

Rather than the inspiring performance that many expected, Detroit lost its first game of the season by more than one score in what may have been the team's worst performance of the year and fell to 4-5 overall.

This contest also marked the first time the Lions failed to out gain their opponent since a Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, snapping a string of six consecutive games where they accumulated more yards than their adversary.

To sum it up, this could easily be pegged as the Lions worst performance to date. To dive a little deeper, here is this week's good bad and ugly.

The Good – There is plenty of season remaining

Outside of a few quality performances on defense (linebacker Justin Durant and defensive tackle Nick Fairley), this game didn't consist of many highlights for the Lions.

The only solace that can be offered is that there is enough season remaining on the horizon for the Lions to rebound.

The Lions are within two wins of a wild card spot still and – with two games remaining against the Green Bay Packers – they still have full control over their own destiny.

With a three game home stand on tap, the Lions have the opportunity to quickly move past this disappointment and attempt to salvage the season.

It doesn't look good, but it certainly isn't over yet.

The Bad – The Overall Performance

There isn't one aspect of the game that should be singled out. There are many.

The defense allowed 403 yards to a Vikings offense that entered the game ranked 21 in the league. They also surrendered 189 yards on the ground, including the second 60-plus yard touchdown run in three games at the hands of a dominant Adrian Peterson.

The offense sputtered to a pedestrian 368 yards, including only 60 on the ground against a Vikings run defense that had been shredded in recent weeks. The unit converted only one of nine third down opportunities and players Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson -- despite attractive stat lines - -- were responsible for the game's only two turnovers.

The Lions were flagged six times for 57 yards, including a drive killing crackback block by Ryan Broyles on the first series and a game-ending unnecessary roughness by Sammie Lee Hill on the final series. Those two penalties sandwiched other costly mistakes by the team, including a holding penalty by Jeff Backus that killed a fourth-quarter drive that started at midfield with the Lions down by seven.

Overall, an afternoon the Lions will want to forget.

The Ugly – Chris Houston's Injury

Chris Houston left the game and did not return after suffering an ankle injury on the long touchdown run scored by Peterson.

After the game, Houston told reporters that a "linemen fell on his ankle on purpose".

Houston claimed he didn't see who the player exactly was but believed the play was dirty. Replays seem to indicate that the player in question may have been Vikings right guard Brandon Fusco.

It is impossible to validate Houston's claims on replays but regardless, Houston is the team's best defensive back at this point and they can ill afford to lose him.

If the play that resulted in Houston's injury was in fact intentional, it only worsens the sting of the injury.


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