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Detroit's D-line destroys McCown, Lions roll over Bucs

The Detroit Lions (9-4) broke a nine-game December losing streak by rolling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-11) 34-17 Sunday at Ford Field. Our takeaways:

  1. It was a wide receiver show Sunday, but Calvin Johnson showed why he continues to top all comers. Megatron dominated Lovie Smith's defense time and time again, boxing out corners while going for 158 yards and a touchdown -- it's his second straight week with over 140 yards receiving. When Matthew Stafford's security blanket is getting a free release it's game: Blouses for undersized secondaries.
  1. Detroit's defensive line destroyed Josh McCown all afternoon. The poor veteran quarterback barely had time to get to his second read before getting smoked. Detroit ended with six sacks -- including DeAndre Levy's pair -- and hit McCown numerous other times (14 recorded QB hits). McCown did his best to take advantage of his receivers' playmaking ability, but too many times he was treated like a rag doll before he could get the ball away. The discussion about the quarterback position might persist this offseason, but the Bucs' biggest problem is the offensive line.
  1. Mike Evans caught just four balls for 45 yards, but two were for touchdowns -- including a miraculous bobbled biceps grab. The rookie also forced several long pass interference flags. Evans now has 10 touchdown receptions, tied for the second-most in a single season in team history (J. Galloway, 2005). Vincent Jackson also went off on 10 catches for 159 yards. If McCown had time the totals could have been even higher.
  1. Neither team could get anything going on the ground. The Bucs ended with 14 carries for 26 yards. Aside from a Joique Bell 57-yard run late in the fourth quarter, the Lions struggled all day, too. Take away that long run and the Lions earned 56 yards on 30 carries. That is no bueno for either squad.
  1. Detroit continues to make dumb mistakes that could burn the team at some point on its run toward the playoffs. Detroit was called for nine penalties for 122 yards and had a fumble after James Ihedigbo made a silly decision to take an interception out of the end zone. Both Bucs touchdowns came with the aid of Detroit's defense. Those are the types of situations that burn teams against good squads.
  1. Tampa is the quintessential bad team. Everything that can go wrong, does. Case in point: watching a tipped Stafford pass at the goal line carom to Bell, who took it in for the game-sealing score.

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