Pat Caputo: Brilliance Of Stafford And Johnson Trumped By Shoddy Defense

The good part about the Lions’ first playoff appearance in a dozen years: Matthew Stafford displayed why he is the NFL’s next great quarterback. Calvin Johnson was double-teamed all night, yet managed to catch 12 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Utter brilliance.

The bad part, which eventually trumped all: Regardless of their dynamic pass-catch combination, the Lions will get nowhere close to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance unless there is a dramatic improvement defensively.

The message was crystal clear during the second half of the Lions’ 45-28 loss to the Saints Saturday.

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