The Detroit Lions fell victim to turnovers and self-inflicted mistakes once again, falling for the seventh-straight game during Saturday night's 31-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons -- the team's fifth loss on national TV this season, further darkening the black eye on the franchise's reputation.
With that said, there a record-breaking silver lining to the loss; a closer look below in this week’s good, bad and ugly.
Despite all the maddening blunders, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson provided his teammates something to be proud of and the city something to cheer for.
At 4-10 and with eight consecutive losses, the football fetish of many in this city has been left unsatisfied. However, Lions fans will have something positive to take away, something they can be prideful of, something they can remember the season by.
With 11 catches for 225 yards, Johnson moved passed Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice’s single season mark for receiving yards. Johnson now has 1,892 and is poised to raise the bar even further with another game left to play.
When this season ends, many will lament the Lions for their statistical regression but, when discussing the team, there will be at least one historic positive that will need to be acknowledged: Calvin Johnson.
The Bad – Points off Turnovers
Losing the turnover battle may be the single largest reason for the Lions regression this season.
This game was no exception.
The team fumbled twice and added an interception on route to losing the turnover battle 3-0 and surrendering 17 points off of those turnovers.
The Lions lost by 13.
In fact, the Lions have given up 45 points off of turnovers in the last two games – contests they have lost by a combined 41 points.
If the Lions hope to return to the playoffs in 2013, the formula should be simple: force more turnovers and commit less.
The Ugly – Stefan Logan
Stefan Logan is an easy guy to root for. An obvious underdog, the undersized return specialist has worked hard to earn a spot in the NFL.
Once a fan favorite for his exciting return ability, Logan has quickly become a goat. Despite making a couple strong plays on offense over the last two weeks, fans will remember him for two mental mistakes.
The first error came in the first half of the game. Logan was back deep to return a punt. There appeared to be an opportunity to pick up some yards however, Logan appeared to waive for a fair catch.
Once he caught the ball, the official blew the play dead.
Logan argued the call, claiming that he did not waive for a fair catch, although, it appeared that he did on replays.
Logan’s next mistake came in the fourth quarter, as the Lions were attempting to stage an improbable comeback attempt. The Lions defense had forced a safety and Logan was deep to receive the kick.
He caught the ball inside the five-yard line and kneeled, as if he was in the end zone.
That play enabled the Falcons to play a passive prevent defense against a pinned offense with a little time on the clock and only one time out.
The odds of coming back were slim before the mistake. They were essentially eliminated after it.