There was no fourth-quarter magic this time around.
The Detroit Lions fell to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, 28-13, in one of their most uninspiring performances of the season. Detroit was severely outplayed and outcoached in all three phases of the game and didn’t look the part of a true contender. Below are a few takeaways from Detroit’s fourth loss of the season.
Lifeless Lions Fall To Bears
DJ Moore Breaks Loose
After failing to catch a single pass in the first half, Bears receiver DJ Moore had a big second half, catching six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets.
One of the keys going into Sunday’s game was to slow Moore down after his big game against Detroit last month. The Lions executed that plan for the first two quarters on Sunday but didn’t have an answer for him down the stretch. It was Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs who got beat, again, on Moore’s third-quarter touchdown that gave Chicago back the league. It was yet another lackluster performance from a defensive unit that has struggled mightily over the last month.
Uncharacteristic Penalties And Turnovers Prove To Be Costly
On a 4th and 13 in the third quarter, Chicago got Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson to jump offsides, resulting in a “free play” for the Bears who then took advantage. Quarterback Justin Fields connected with Moore for a 38-yard touchdown to give Chicago a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. On the ensuing drive for Detroit, center Graham Glasgow and quarterback Jared Goff fumbled a snap exchange, one of three Lions turnovers on the day. It was the story of the afternoon for Detroit, who instead of limiting their mistakes compounded them.
Yes, the Lions were outplayed on Sunday, but they didn’t do themselves any favors either. Detroit was flagged for eight penalties with plenty of them coming at inopportune times, but none bigger than the aforementioned Moore touchdown in the third quarter.
Offense Shut Out In Second Half
It’s no secret that the Lions’ offense is the strength of their team. Their ability to run the ball at a high level opens up many things in the passing game that make them difficult to stop when they’re clicking on all cylinders. However, it was a different story on Sunday.
For the second time this season, the Lions’ offense was shut out in a half. Detroit’s third quarter woes continued, going three-and-out in their first three possessions of the half and failing to get anything going for the remainder of the game. Their second-half possessions went as follows:
- Turnover on downs
- Turnover on downs
Over their last 31 plays from scrimmage, Detroit only gained 71 total yards for a measly 2.3 yards per play. The offensive line was overmatched, Goff was errant with his throws, and top targets Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta were non-existent. One positive from the offense on Sunday is that rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs continues to take full advantage of the opportunities he’s given. He had 82 yards on nine total touches and added a rushing touchdown in the first half.
After starting 8-2, the Lions are now 1-2 in their last three games. A once substantial division lead has whittled down to two games following the Minnesota Vikings‘ victory over the Las Vegas Raiders late Sunday afternoon. Detroit still finds itself in the NFC North driver’s seat, and it controls its own destiny, but there are glaring issues that need to be addressed moving forward rather than ignored. With four games remaining, those issues need to be resolved — and quickly. The Lions will have another tough test on Saturday when they welcome the playoff-hopeful Denver Broncos to Ford Field for a primetime matchup.
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