The Detroit Lions start the Darrell Bevell era off with a bang

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions start what is expected to be the short Darrell Bevell era in style.

Talk about payback for Week One’s embarrassing home loss to the Chicago Bears.  After imploding in the fourth quarter at home in a Week One matchup, the Detroit Lions got retribution Sunday, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to fend off the Bears 34-30. Darrell Bevell will start his head coaching career with a victory.

I expected that the Detroit Lions players would show up Sunday and play hard for their interim head coach Darrell Bevell.  Usually, immediately following a firing, or in Detroit’s case, a wholesale change from management to head coach, the players show up with a bit more spunk, a bit more desire to perform well for their new boss.

I don’t expect Darrell Bevell will be the head coach for more than the five games he’s been rewarded to close out the 2020 season, but his enthusiasm and positivity are not something to overlook.

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Bevell is clearly appreciative of the opportunity he’s been given; he’s claimed he’s waited for this opportunity for years.  Following Detroit’s victory, grinning ear-to-ear, Bevell exclaimed he’s struggling to think straight with all of the emotions he’d been experiencing.  It’s an attitude many of us hoped to witness; a breath of fresh air.

After getting off to a slow start, it had the same feeling of a Patricia-led Lions team.  Detroit’s offense sputtered early, and their defense struggled to stop anyone, but would eventually right the ship.

Down three late in the fourth quarter, the Chicago Bears possessed the football deep in their own territory needing just a first down or two to secure themselves a victory.  Instead, it was Detroit’s defense that came up with a massive turnover.

Defensive end Romeo Okwara stepped up in a big way blowing by Germain Ifedi en route to a sack, fumble that Detroit would recover inside the Bears ten-yard line.  Shortly after, Adrian Peterson was escorted into the endzone by standout center Frank Ragnow giving Detroit the lead with his second touchdown of the day.

On the following possession, with less than two minutes left in the ball game, the Bears marched the football down to the Detroit 20-yard line only to see David Montgomery get stuffed on a run inside the tackles on fourth and one.  Kevin Strong stepped up, making the play for the Detroit Lions to secure their fifth victory of the season.

Matthew Stafford looked sharp all-day Sunday completing 27 of his 42 passing attempts totaling 402 yards and three touchdowns.  On two of his three touchdown throws, Stafford directed his pass-catcher before delivering a strike.  One was a 49-yard bomb to rookie Quintez Cephus, and the other was a nine-yard strike to tight end Jesse James.

Stafford did throw one bad interception in the fourth quarter but followed that up with a stellar 90-plus yard drive to give Detroit hope.

Peterson out-gained Kerryon Johnson 57-3 on 16 carries compared to Johnson’s three.  Marvin Jones led the way with 116 yards on eight receptions, followed by 84 yards on seven catches by T.J. Hockenson and two for 63 from Cephus.

At the conclusion of the game, Stafford proudly presented Bevell with the game ball.

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Next on the docket for Bevell and the Lions is a date with Green Bay, but let’s enjoy a victory Monday first.