Let’s take a look at the Lions’ 37-27 loss to the Steelers on Sunday by examining some of the numbers:
— Matthew Stafford became the Lions’ franchise all-time leading passer with his 100th career touchdown — a 79-yard pass play to Calvin Johnson early in the second quarter. He surpassed Bobby Layne who is the last Lions’ quarterback to win in Pittsburgh and it was in 1955. ... Stafford was slow out of the gate, but threw for 327 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first half. Then he was held to 35 yards in the second half when the Lions also had trouble running the ball.
— Calvin Johnson had six catches for 179 yards in the first half. That’s an average of 29.8 yards per catch. That is amazing even for a man named Megatron. His 79-yard touchdown reception was remarkable — he couldn’t have been more wide open and Stafford delivered on the money.
— DeAndre Levy led all Lions with 12 tackles and two pass defenses. He came so close to his sixth interception of the season even he couldn’t believe it. The linebacker is having an outstanding season. Can’t say enough about him.
— Ndamukong Suh didn’t post a stat. No tackles, sacks — no nothing. This happened one game last season too. It doesn’t mean he didn’t have an impact but I would say this was not one of his best games.
— For a defensive line that should be setting sack records, once again they came up short. Ben Roethlisberger had been sacked 35 times in the first nine games — that’s almost four times a game. And the Lions only sacked him once and had one quarterback hit — both were by Nick Fairley. Clearly sacks aren’t everything, but this group should be putting more pressure on the quarterback. Big Ben is not a rollover, but other teams have gotten to him quite easily.
— Once again too many chunk plays were given up. The Steelers scored touchdowns on 34-yard and 47-yard passes from Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown on the first two possessions. In the 97-yard drive, following the botched fake field goal, they allowed five plays of 10 yards or longer.
— The run game struggled. Reggie Bush fumbled and lost the ball in the second quarter which led to a Steelers’ field goal. It was wet but the Steelers didn’t fumble once. Bush had a dozen carries for just 31 yards and two catches for 23 yards. Not a great day for Bush. Joique Bell injured his ankle late but had nine runs for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Next up the Lions (6-4) play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) at Ford Field on Sunday. The Bucs beat the Falcons 41-28 on Sunday for their second straight win.