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3 Lions takeaways from frustrating Week 7 loss to Rams

Lions, Rams, Lions Week 7, Lions Week 7 takeaways, Lions Rams

Jared Goff made a big play for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Week 7 of the NFL season. There was just one problem: He plays for the Detroit Lions.

Goff’s red-zone interception halted the Lions’ go-ahead touchdown drive and led to a Week 7 defeat against the Rams.

Trailing 25-19 late in the fourth quarter, Goff telegraphed a throw in the middle third of the field. His former Rams teammates celebrated, a marked contrast from a year ago when Goff’s late interceptions caused frustration on Sean McVay’s sideline. The Lions remained winless despite an inspired performance which actually offers some reason for hope.

Let’s offer some big-picture views on the weekend that was for the Lions:

Lions Week 7 takeaways 

3. Unlike the Eagles or Jets, there is actually some talent on this roster

The Eagles and Jets have especially hopeless situations right now. Their rosters need a total overhaul. The Lions certainly need to fix their roster in many ways, but there are some cornerstone pieces they can build around.

D’Andre Swift is a stud. He runs and catches at an elite level. He is a supreme athletic specimen. He makes the Lions’ offense productive. Give him some receivers and a quarterback and he can become even more dangerous. He gave the Rams problems all day on Sunday. Detroit’s offense stalled in scoring territory simply because there wasn’t a Plan B beyond Swift.

Penei Sewell and the Lions’ offensive line pushed around the Rams on their late drive before Goff threw the decisive interception. There is a chance for Detroit to create a robust running game. The passing game simply has to come together for that to happen. There ARE pieces in place, though. That is a real point of encouragement for Detroit.

2. The Lions need to find a quarterback 

It’s obvious, but it still has to be said: The Lions have to do better than Jared Goff. They can’t continue to put up with this. Rams fans surely laughed after the game-deciding interception on Sunday. They saw that movie many times before.

Any team which aspires to achieve greatness in the NFL can’t have a mediocre signal-caller. The obvious problem facing the Lions is that the 2022 NFL draft class does not have a promising group of quarterbacks. It’s not the year to tank for an elite QB. The Lions might need to exercise a trade for a solid veteran bridge quarterback (think Tyrod Taylor) in 2022. That could give them a decent shot at a 9-8 season. They’re not going to be able to win nine games with Goff or this coaching staff. (The staff is a separate matter, but it can’t be ignored or denied.)

1. Pass rush weakness is a roaring, glaring deficit for Detroit

The Rams were in trouble and faced a number of crucial third-and-long situations in this game: third and 8, third and 10, third and 12, all in the second half. The outcome of the game hung in the balance. If the Lions could have planted Matthew Stafford on his rear end and notched a sack or an incompletion, they might have won.

Instead, Stafford had a clean pocket from which he sliced open the Lions’ secondary.

The Lions do have some good pieces in place, but their pass rush, the lack of an elite wide receiver, and the lack of a quality quarterback are three huge deficiencies they have to find ways to address heading into 2022.