Whew! That was a close one. The Lions went out picked up their third-straight win with a 27-24 win over the Bears that could have easily gone the other way. And you know what? I don’t care. A win is a win. Especially when going up against a division foe and winning all three division road games for the first time in the Super Bowl era. I’ll take it.
As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.
Lions defense is becoming a big problem
These aren’t the top teams in the league that keep balling all over the Lions defense. In the last two weeks, teams with a combined record record of 3-17 have racked up yards on the Lions like it’s nothing.
In the past two weeks, the Lions have allowed a combined 462 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. That is miserably horrible. I’d like to say the Lions will catch a break against teams that aren’t that great on the ground in the coming weeks, but you’re seeing who the Lions have played in the last two weeks. This has to be corrected.
Paging Dr. Tate. You’re needed on the field
The Lions have a bad habit of limiting a good player every week. Last week it was Marvin Jones. This week it was Golden Tate, arguably their strongest weapon on the field and he was only targeted four times. He caught three of those balls for 32 yards. The Lions can ill afford to keep under-utilizing Tate. I’ll throw Theo Riddick in that discussion as well. Use these guys more, James Robert.
Marvin’s great season continues
At this time last season, pretty much everyone was unsure about Marvin Jones. Here in 2017, you have to be glad you have this guy. Jones balled out yet again on Sunday, grabbing four receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. Couple that with the 537 yards and five touchdowns he already has, and his ability to sing, and you could be looking at another 1000-yard season for the second-year Lion.
Pass rush needs help badly
Earlier this week I wrote a story about how the Lions could be moving on from Ezekiel Ansah after this season. I still believe that to be true. Having said that, you could see that the Lions defensive line truly missed him on Sunday.
They were unable to stop the run, which is as much a Haloti Ngata problem as it is a not having Ansah problem. But what’s worse is that they can’t get to the quarterback. If you can’t get to Brett Hundley, Deshone Kizer and Mitch Trubisky, you’re gonna have a hell of a time getting to Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater on Thanksgiving.
The problem is that talent-wise, there’s not a whole lot they can do. But scheme-wise, they have to find some way of covering up their woes if they hope to run the table or try to make the playoffs.
Matthew Stafford is still good, by the way
I know it didn’t look like Stafford had a mega game, but he was pretty solid on Sunday. He finished with 299 yards and two touchdowns while completing 67.7 percent of his passes. He also had a passer rating of 120.2.
So that means that coming out of the bye, Stafford has thrown for 1332 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s completed 67.4 percent of his passes and has a passer rating of 113.6 That’s really good.
Trubisky is going to be pretty good one day
I know this is a Lions article, so I’ll keep this brief. I am genuinely concerned about the Bears of the future. Yes, it is true that the Lions currently own the Bears, and I believe they will next season too. It’s that third year and beyond that scares me.
Mitch Trubisky gave Bears fans a glimpse of the future with this amazing play before Barth pissed the game away. pic.twitter.com/VVxm41dIlB— ✶ Sports Mockery ✶ (@sportsmockery) November 19, 2017
Look at that ridiculousness. I’m sure the win had everyone forgetting about that play, but man that is scary. That’s the kid of thing that, if molded correctly by someone who isn’t John Fox, could wind up beating you up in the future.
Lions still have trouble running the blah blah blah.
I’m not sure this is ever going to end, and I’m not sure why. You saw on Sunday that Ameer Abdullah can do incredible things.
You even saw Theo Riddick put forth some great runs. But these moments seem to be few and far between. Most days I wish these guys would start freelancing plays just to make things happen. Too often they’re running right into the pile as opposed to making things happen. It almost makes you miss Reggie Bush at times.
I’m not sure what the Lions can do. But at this point, I can’t see anything changing for a while.
Matt Prater is not from this planet
That’s how it happened. Matt Prater popped out of this guy’s chest and onto a football field. He’s incredible and deserves the game ball and all the riches in the world. That is all.
This game seemed oddly reminiscent to last week’s game. An early turnover turned into a 10-point deficit. And then everything eventually turned into a Lions win. It would be nice to see this team just come out and go HAM on an opponent some day. Until then, I guess it’ll have to be déjà vu.