Packers 24, Lions 20: Good, Bad and Ugly

Was there any silver lining to Sunday? Lions' insider Mike Mady provides all aspects of Detroit's most recent division loss, including the many missed opportunities that doomed a potential Lions victory.

The Detroit Lions 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers was their sixth of the season, knocking their record down to 4-6.

With only six games remaining in the campaign, the Lions playoff hopes are bleak at best. The team may be destined to an offseason of what-if pondering and this loss offers more tallies of missed opportunities and miscues to be considered.

Here's a look at this week's good, bad and ugly.

The Good – Nick Fairley

If there was a silver lining to this game it was the play of second-year defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

The team's top draft pick in 2011 has stepped up in the absence of normal starting defensive tackle Corey Williams and had his best game as a pro against the Packers.

Fairley finished the game with seven tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. He also added a forced fumble.

With Williams aging and struggling with injuries, Fairley is a valuable commodity for the Lions. Even if it's hard to imagine a positive outcome for the Lions in 2012, some comfort can be taken in the fact that Fairley could be a force in 2013.

The Bad – Missed Opportunities on Offense

The Lions compiled a respectable 362 yards on offense and generated a decent 20 points. They averaged 5.3 yards per carry and also produced 19 first downs. All numbers seem to indicate, if nothing else, a respectable offensive performance.

But it wasn't the plays the Lions made, it was the ones they didn't.

The Lions had three dropped passes in their first three drives, two of which were three and outs. Another dropped pass occurred in the third quarter, when Stafford threw slightly behind tight end Tony Scheffler. Despite the poor ball placement, Scheffler managed to get two hands on the ball but deflected it in the air rather than catching it. The ball was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, a crucial seven points considering the Lions lost by four.

Stafford also missed wide receiver Calvin Johnson down the sidelines on two occasions; both plays would have been big gains, if not touchdowns.

Overall, Stafford completed only 43 percent of his passes. The Lions offense seemed out of sync, particularly Stafford and Scheffler.

In addition to the aforementioned play that resulted in an interception, Stafford targeted Scheffler nine times, completing only two passes.

Even with all that, the Lions could have won the game with a touchdown in the fourth quarter. They had the ball on Green Bay's 10-yard line and ended up kicking a field goal.

The outcome of this game would have been different had the Lions offense made a few more plays.

The Ugly – Jeff Backus Injury

There were some other items that could have been called out here, namely a perceived sideline argument between wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. All players and coaches declined to comment on the situation leaving vague details and making it difficult to peg this occurrence as this week's "The Ugly".

Instead, the injury to Backus is placed here.

The Lions long-time left tackle left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return. In fact, he was in street clothes on the sideline in the second half.

Today was consecutive start 186 for Backus and even head coach Jim Schwartz agreed that his streak would be in "jeopardy" at this point.

The Lions have a quick turnaround for the Houston Texans, a team they will play on Thursday.

Rookie Tackle Riley Reiff would take over for Backus if necessary, doing so in this week's loss. The Packers sent a lot of pressure Reiff's way, helping force two holding penalties.

Don't expect much to change with the Texans and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

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