Detroit Lions squander huge 4th quarter lead in week one loss to Chicago

The Detroit Lions squander a 23-6 fourth-quarter lead in a week one loss to the Chicago Bears.

There is no way to sugar coat this, and I understand the phrase ‘Same Old Lions’ is old, but the Detroit Lions entered the fourth quarter with a large lead yet come away with another loss.  Lions fans are all too familiar with this; just last season, the same thing happened in week one against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Lions can’t seem to finish football games under the leadership of head coach Matt Patricia.  It’s an offense that seems to get way to conservative with the football having a multiple score lead entering the fourth quarter regardless of their opponent.

I’ve been begging offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to stay aggressive throughout the entire game; why is there a need to change your philosophy from what has created a three-score lead?  Far too many times, the Lions just try to bleed the clock in the fourth quarter with a lead, and the offensive playcalling becomes extremely predictable.

Detroit will regularly call running plays on the first two downs even if the defense is countering with an eight-man front making sure they are stout against the run.  After a couple of mediocre gains, it brings up a third and long, and everyone knows it’s Matthew Stafford trying to make something happen against a defense that’s unleashed their pass-rush and playing coverage on the backend.

These types of sequences make for quick three-and-out drives, in turn, allowing the opponent to gain momentum on offense; it also hampers the Detroit defense that seems to remain on the football field for the entire fourth quarter.

These types of games are beyond frustrating.

A loss is a loss, I get it, but when you lose a large lead in the fourth quarter, it becomes nauseating.  Talk about being kicked when you are down.  Detroit Lions fans deserve better.

The Lions contained quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for three quarters.  Trubisky was a ‘check-down’ machine throughout the first three quarters and somehow turns into Joe Montana in the fourth quarter throwing for three touchdowns and 21 unanswered points on just 15 offensive plays leading the Bears to a 27-23 victory.

The Detroit Lions did have a chance late in the game, Stafford and the Lions offense had been marching down the field, and in the dying seconds of the game, Stafford delivered a perfect pass in the endzone to a wide-open D’Andre Swift who dropped the game-winning catch.  Sure, that play would have won the game for Detroit, but understand this, that isn’t why they lost the game.

Detroit lost the game because Matt Patricia’s ‘bend don’t break’ defense struggles to make stops when they need them most.  It’s a defense that appeared much more aggressive than last season with Cory Undlin calling the plays and suddenly reverted back to last season in the fourth quarter.

It’s a daunting Detroit Lions schedule, one where the organization can ill-afford to give away victories, but make no mistake; the Lions handed the Bears their first victory of the season.  Chicago didn’t win this game; Detroit lost it.

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This game is on Matt Patricia, the head coach needs to figure out how to close out football games, and it needs to happen quickly before it’s too late.

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