The Lions officially sealed their fate as a team that won't be in the playoffs this season, but the ugly road loss to the Rams still provided plenty of talking points.
News: Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson had one catch against the Rams.
Views: It's hard to tell exactly what limited Johnson, but there are a few factors.
And the one that nobody in Allen Park will say is Johnson struggled to get open. While Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson has been solid this season, few people believe he's of the caliber to shut down top receivers like he did in limiting Johnson to one 16-yard catch on five targets.
Poor offensive line play limited downfield passes, and Matthew Stafford overthrew Johnson on a potential big play. And, clearly, the coaches didn't do enough to get Johnson involved.
But when a player's production isn't measuring up, at some point, the blame should fall on him — Johnson dropped one target. Sure, Johnson had a dominant performance on Thanksgiving Day (eight catches, 93 yards, three touchdowns), but 13 games into the season, he has one 100-yard game (166, Week 6 against the Bears).
Since his rookie year (one 100-yard game), here's how many times Johnson has hit the century mark from 2008-14: five, three, four, eight, 11, seven and five.
Even though Johnson might not be quite as good as he was, the coaches still need to give him opportunities
News: Matthew Stafford reached 25,000 passing yards in his first 90 games, faster than any other quarterback in NFL history.
Views: This is a legitimate milestone for Stafford, but one that shouldn't be overblown.
Dolphins Hall of Famer Dan Marino held the record by accomplishing the feat in 92 games, but a look at the stats shows Stafford has been much less efficient en route to the mark.
It took Marino 3,283 attempts to accumulate 25,101 yards. Stafford needed 3,590 to reach 25,123.
And, at that point in his career, Marino had 204 touchdowns. Stafford has 155. To be fair, Marino also threw more interceptions, 113 to 98.
News: Cornerback Darius Slay was the only Lions playeron the Pro Football Focus roster, an unofficial list, for the Pro Bowl.
Views: When news of PFF's Pro Bowl roster hit Twitter, lots of Lions fans wondered why defensive end Ziggy Ansah wasn't on the list.
The explanation is simple: Ansah is 15th among 4-3 defensive ends on PFF's grading scale. Considering the site took players from both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses, there wasn't room for Ansah.
Oakland's Khalil Mack, New Orleans' Cameron Jordan, Seattle's Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, Houston's J.J. Watt and Philadelphia's Fletcher Cox were the site's Pro Bowl defensive ends. Among the reasons Ansah isn't rated higher, based on the grades, are issues in coverage and a run grade lower than other top ends.
In last week's Pro Bowl balloting, Ansah was fifth at the position, so, clearly, fans think more highly of Ansah — tied for second with 131/2 sacks — than PFF.
Slay is the site's No. 7 cornerback.
News: Safety James Ihedigbo started in St. Louis instead of Isa Abdul-Quddus.
Views: Jim Caldwell said before the game this was a possibility, and against the run-first Rams, the Lions went back to Ihedigbo after using Abdul-Quddus primarily in the previous four games.
The coaches have packages with different players, and Ihedigbo plays the likely run packages, which were few and far between from Weeks 10-13 against the Packers (twice), Raiders and Eagles.
But in those games, the Lions allowed an average of 58 rushing yards with Abdul-Quddus as a primary part of the defense. Against the Rams, they allowed 203 yards with Ihedigbo playing more snaps than Abdul-Quddus.
News: The NFL will adjust its officiating procedures in the postseason and allow referees to communicate with vice president of officiating Dean Blandino about proper enforcement of the rules, even beyond what's covered by instant replay.
Views: Whether it's because of improved technology that shows errors or some other factor, the NFL's officiating seems to have reached a low point in 2015. The Lions were involved in some of the costly calls that might have been overturned with expanded replay or involvement from the officiating office in New York.
The most important thing, regardless of the review rules, is to get the calls right, so this test run in the postseason is a good step. The next step is to make everything reviewable.