Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 8/16/13

Sound the alarm bells, the Lions have serious causes for concern. In last night’s game against the Cleveland Browns, there was little positive to take away from the Lions’ perspective outside of the thought, “Hey, our best playmaker wasn’t on the field!” Well, that’s true. Calvin Johnson wasn’t on the field, and without him, the Lions’ offense came to an abrupt stop. Adding Johnson back to the lineup would certainly help, but the Lions appear to have a more systemic problem than simply the absence of one playmaker. The Lions’ biggest issue seems to be their surprising lack of offensive production. Normally reliable receivers such as Brandon Pettigrew and Nate Burleson were ineffective, both dropping passes, and the Lions’ running game was nonexistent. The Lions have been able to survive, and at times even thrive, by running up the score on opponents and letting their defensive line go head-hunting against opponents’ quarterbacks. Last night, the result of a lack of offense was apparent. The Browns offense, to their credit, was very good. Brandon Weeden looked like the best quarterback in the game by far, and the Browns were able to block up running plays well. As a unit, the offense looked comfortable sitting back and picking the Lions’ defense apart. The Lions, for their part, simply weren’t able to cover. Without a near-instant pass rush, the Lions’ defenders are unable to maintain coverage, which allowed Browns receivers to find openings in the coverage. Weeden targeted those openings, and put the ball on spot. If it’s any consolation, and it shouldn’t be, the Lions were able to knock a pair of field goals through to prevent the shut out. The Lions were unable to maintain early season momentum last year, largely due to a lack of discipline. They were consistently falling behind early, storming back and falling just short of comeback victories. This year, I’m not sure their ability to come back will be available to them. Early signs indicate that the Lions have a lack of talent, and in this league, it’s nearly impossible to win with inferior talent. Then again, maybe I’m just being pessimistic. Maybe the Lions have assembled a competitive roster that had an off night. Maybe the Browns are just that good, but seriously, who are we kidding? The Browns aren’t a great team, and neither are the Lions. While Detroit may be able to put together a record near .500, that won’t be good enough to save the current regime. [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rockets take shot at Westbrook's MVP candidacy

James Harden sets a new NBA record

New info shows just how much Las Vegas wants Raiders

Report: Patriots, Revis have not discussed possible reunion

Reporter: Giants 'would not go near' Adrian Peterson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Popovich: Owners interfering with player rest is risky

Michael Irvin weighs in on Ezekiel Elliott's recent behavior

Oregon headed to first Final Four in 78 years as Jordan Bell & Tyler Dorsey dominate Kansas

This is the Gonzaga we’ve been waiting for

Jets won’t rule out selecting another QB in 2017 NFL Draft

Rougned Odor threw a cup of water into Felix Hernandez’s face on the field

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker