Cook: Negatives easy to find in latest loss

How is it that a defense goes from holding the NFL's top offense to just nine points in Week 1 to giving up 65 points the following two weeks to a pair of pedestrian offenses? columnist James Cook shares his take on Detroit's third consecutive defeat.

Hey, at least Mike Williams played.

The former first-round pick suited up for the first time this season and actually made it on the field in Detroit‘s 31-24 home loss to the Green Bay Packers, which puts this well ahead of much of his preseason experience where he only saw the field with his eyes.

Now he needs to work on actually making a catch.

Unfortunately, I'm required to get back to the game itself.

It's not exactly the most enjoyable place to go, but duty calls.

Or maybe doodie calls, because the Lion defense played like crap.

Oh, and by the way, Williams has the same number of catches as the Lions have wins this season. Both sit at zero, and who knows when either number will budge.

Yes, there were positives. Roy Williams came out of his shell and had a 138-yard performance, Kevin Jones ran the ball with authority, Jon Kitna had another solid game under center, the run defense was stellar most of the game and the line was adequate, despite being short-handed and starting a rookie.

But that's mainly it.

The Lions' secondary looked like Swiss cheese as the cheese heads went up and down the field through the air. With Kenoy Kennedy and Fernando Bryant out, Daniel Bullocks and Jamar Fletcher started in their place. No one player stood out worse than the rest of the secondary, and that's because the secondary's woes were mainly to blame on the defensive line, which failed miserably in its attempt to generate any kind of pass rush.

Add to that a sudden reluctance by defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson to blitz much, and Favre had loads of time to pick apart the secondary. The DBs were left for dead, expected to cover receivers for much longer than they should have to.

It was hard to tell if the Lions actually had linebackers on the field, because their names weren't called much.

Leading receiver Donald Driver was held mainly in check (three catches for 20 yards), but one of those was for a TD. It was Western Michigan University product Greg Jennings and Ahman Green who torched the Cover 2 defense.

Speaking of the Cover 2, how is it that a defense goes from holding the NFL's top offense to just nine points in Week 1 to giving up 65 points the following two weeks to a pair of pedestrian offenses?

And the Pack made it look relatively easy, despite not much of a semblance of a running game. Detroit took away the run, and the Packers simply went to the air. Even mainly passing the ball, the Pack possessed the ball for 10:46 of the second quarter. A fumble on the final drive of each half kept Green Bay from racking up more points.

Favre threw for 340 yards and his 400th career touchdown. Doesn't it seem that 300 of those TDs have come against Detroit?

Back to some positives, because if this column just focused on negatives, it'd be too long to read during your lunch break.

The Lions scored more points in first quarter than in last two games combined. Kitna threw for 342 yards and his first two TDs of his Lions career.

Rookie Jonathan Scott looked surprisingly stout at right tackle, especially considering he was going head-to-head with the NFL's leading sack man in Aaron Kampman, who got the QB four times in Green Bay's first two contests.

It's a struggle to not go back to the negatives.

But the Lions play offensive coordinator Mike Martz' former team when Detroit and St. Louis meet in a 4 p.m. game Sunday.

There should be plenty of opportunities to go back to the negatives list next week.

James Cook is an award-winning columnist with the Traverse City Record-Eagle

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