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Detroit Lions: Three answers, one question

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
After the Lions' 38-20 loss to Tampa Bay, here are three (mostly) indisputable facts I feel relatively sure about:

1. Receiver Calvin Johnson came up with two more "oh-my-gosh" catches, including a 15-yard touchdown in the first quarter. To see him reach over a defensive back and catch the ball over his head without leaving his feet is something to behold. Johnson and quarterback Daunte Culpepper have connected on a number of those kinds of catches, which provides some hope that they could have a future together. One thing Culpepper has always been willing to do is put the ball up for his receivers -- open or otherwise -- to make a play on. More often than not, Johnson can.

2. Culpepper will remain the starter this week in part because of a concussion suffered by backup Drew Stanton. The Lions might have to activate Drew Henson from the practice squad just to have a healthy backup for their Thanksgiving Day game against Tennessee. Those who were disappointed with Culpepper's eight-completion, two-interception performance against the Buccaneers need to understand the impossible position he's put himself in. Right about now, he's entering the fourth week of his personal training camp with a new team.

3. The Lions had a 10-0 lead on Carolina and a 17-0 lead over Tampa Bay and lost both games. Sunday, the Bucs outscored them 38-3 the rest of the way. That's an incredible swing in an NFL-level game, and suggests the Lions aren't coping with the most basic adjustments by opponents. It's as if their game plan is to stick with their game plan for 60 minutes, regardless of the inevitable counter moves that opponents come up with.

And here is one question I'm still asking:

Will the annual Thanksgiving Day game be blacked out in Detroit? The Lions have had three consecutive blackouts, and as of Monday morning there was no official world if Thursday's game is sold out. Consider just another link in a long chain of embarrassments this season.