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Analysis: Lions have good pieces but remain puzzling

6:45 PM, Nov. 13, 2012
The Detroit Lions don't seem to know how to properly use either running back Mikel Leshoure (25) or tackle/tight end/fullback Riley Reiff (71), seen during Sunday's 34-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.
The Detroit Lions don't seem to know how to properly use either running back Mikel Leshoure (25) or tackle/tight end/fullback Riley Reiff (71), seen during Sunday's 34-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.
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The Detroit Lions are one of the NFL's great disappointments this season.

They had the look of an ascending team last season when they qualified for the playoffs after an 11-year absence from the postseason. Their quarterback, 24-year-old Matthew Stafford, looked like a franchise-type player; they had the best receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson; and they had the game's dominant young defensive tackle in Ndmukong Suh.

Yet, after their 34-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Lions are 4-5 and on the brink of falling out of the playoff race going into this week's game against the ...

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