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Lions Can't Overcome Awful Special Teams Play, Turnovers in 48-24 Loss to Bears

The Lions ended their 19-game losing streak last week, and this week in Chicago they were hoping to get a winning streak started.  After a fairly good first half, it looked like there was a good chance of the Lions winning their second straight game, but a terrible second half where Detroit was outscored 27-3 led to this becoming an ugly loss.

After getting off to a stellar start that included a couple long touchdown drives, the Lions reverted back to their old ways with poor special teams play and a costly interception inside their own 10.  The Lions put together an outstanding 98-yard drive at the end of the first half to tie things up after two quarters, but that was really when all good things came to an end for Detroit. 

The Bears opened up the second half with a kick return for a touchdown, which basically set the tone for what to expect in the final two quarters.  Detroit made special teams mistake after special teams mistake, allowing the Bears to start around midfield or in Lions territory on what seemed like every drive.  The Lions, on the other hand, almost always started inside or around their own 20.  That alone was enough for the Bears to take over this game, but add in a fumble by Stafford at the Lions' 19-yard line and Detroit basically handed this game to Chicago on a silver platter.  The Lions couldn't get anything going save one drive that led to a field goal, and the Bears were able to extend their lead by having such a short field so often.  The Bears went on to win 48-24 after adding a touchdown in garbage time.

On that aforementioned drive that led to a field goal, Matthew Stafford was sacked on third down and injured his right knee.  He went down awkwardly and immediately grabbed the back of his right knee, showing that something was wrong.  On the sideline he had a wrap on the knee, and when he tried to walk around it was too sore for him to come back into the game.  That led to the first Daunte Culpepper sighting of the season, as he finished the game for the Lions.

Aside from Stafford's right knee, the Lions have a pretty big list of other things they have to worry about going forward.  At the top of the list is the terrible special teams play.  In general the Lions have had pretty bad special teams for quite a while now (not counting Jason Hanson, of course), but they have never been this bad.  Today the Lions allowed the Bears to take a kick return back for a touchdown, return other kicks for big gains, take every punt back for a solid gain close to or into Lions territory, and there were penalties on a couple of the Lions' kick returns.  I've said this many times in the past and have wanted this to happen for quite some time, but I will say it again: Fire Stan Kwan.  People have excused his coaching because the Lions haven't had much talent on special teams, but I'm sick of the excuses.  It's time he is finally held accountable for the terrible special teams play, as that single-handedly turned the game around today and put the Lions at a disadvantage on nearly every drive.

The Lions will look to prevent a losing streak from starting next week at home against the defending Super Bowl-champion Pittsburgh Steelers.  It will be a tough game for sure, especially if the Lions turn the ball over and give away field position because of poor special teams play.  This team is nowhere near close to being good enough to win games where they make tons of mistakes, and that is exactly why the Bears rolled Detroit in the second half today.

Final - 10.4.2009 1 2 3 4 Total
Detroit Lions 14 7 0 3 24
Chicago Bears 7 14 13 14 48

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