The lions players were not paying attention. Also known (in this case) as lack of concentration or lack of focus.
Mental errors ruined the Lions chances for an easy win. The Lions blew this one big time all by themselves. False starts, holding, slapping a helmet, you name it on penalties and they happened at the worst time. But that paled compared to the drops. Over and over again the opportunity to march down the field was ruined by drop after drop. It was team wide, it was lack of focus (not lack of talent). Now, it can be said that it takes talent to pay attention, but I don't believe this is one of those cases. This was a team wide inability to concentrate.
The Rams also had no focus. They didn't even score an offensive TD until the final 2 minutes of the game. But they did use some trickery, with the fake field goal for a TD being the most obvious. The Lions who supposedly practiced against trickery during the bye week were caught with their pants down on that one.
There was some good in the game like the Lions using cut back lanes for the running backs more in this game but so much bad, like throwing the ball away on 4th down instead of doing everything humanly possible to convert the 4th down, that I don't want to even talk about the good things.
I don't want to talk about the bad things either for that matter. This was my sure thing game the Lions would win (after the Redskins game) and now I'm very concerned about my other predicted wins. The only reason I'm not completely despondent about it is I know that the coaching staff will be all over the players for the penalties, and the drops, and the bad tackling, and some of them might even respond in the next game well enough to make a difference.
So, my 6-10 season prediction is now in jeopardy, but there are some Lions players who's very careers (as in livelihood) are in more jeopardy and that makes my issues seem small in comparison. Those players who wish to continue to play (either for the Lions or at all) might just want to start paying attention. As in FOCUS!
After I wrote this I realized something. The Lions players were not undergoing a lack of focus because of bad coaching (like some are sure to say). No, they are putting too much pressure on themselves and that obstructs the ability to focus. What they need to do, what will be nearly impossible to coach, is to have fun. Have fun playing football. That is the "it" that is missing.