For the third straight week, the Detroit Lions looked like they didn’t even belong in the NFL. Again, they were completely outclassed by their opponent in just about every way. The offense was impotent, as Matthew Stafford was rattled and took SIX sacks on the day. The defense didn’t force the Chicago Bears to punt until midway through the third quarter, and head coach Matt Patricia—for the third straight week—didn’t have his team anywhere near prepared enough to compete on Sunday.
Here’s how it happened.
The Detroit Lions defense picked up where it left off, which is to say... not well. It only took eight plays for Chicago to go 75 yards for the opening score. The big play from the Bears offense was a quick pass to Allen Robinson II—with DeShawn Shead in “coverage”—that went 35 yards down to the Lions’ 3-yard line. The Bears would end up missing the extra point that followed. 6-0 Bears.
The Lions came out no-huddle, picking up a few first downs. But then they started to slow things down a bit. As they crossed over midfield, they faced a critical play on fourth-and-2. A pitch to Kerryon Johnson proved successful, getting the Lions into field goal range. Unfortunately, on the ensuing set of downs, Matthew Stafford took a sack—his second of the drive—and pushed the Lions out of field goal position. Sam Martin would pin the Bears inside their own 10-yard line.
The Lions’ defense had a chance to get off the field quick, but facing a third-and-four, the Bears drew Devon Kennard offsides, giving Chicago a fresh set of downs. Mitchell Trubisky continued to carve up the Lions secondary, and a 35-yard strike to Allen Robinson moved the Bears to a two touchdown lead before the end of the first quarter. 13-0 Bears.
The Lions’ offense continued to struggle. A quick three-and-out gave the ball back to the Bears, after the Lions failed to pick up a third-and-1 and chose not to go for it.
It only took a few plays for the Bears to cash in again. Trubisky found a wide open Anthony Miller, who broke one poor tackle attempt from Glover Quin for a 45-yard touchdown. Another missed extra point. 19-0 Bears.
As the Lions tried to do anything to get back in the game, they only made matters worse on offense. Marvin Jones Jr. fell down on an out-route, leading to a Stafford interception. The Bears would score a few plays later and the wheels had fallen completely off and it wasn’t even halfway through the second quarter. 26-0 Bears.
The Lions would manage to get into the end zone before the end of the half, but they were still in big trouble heading into the second half. 26-7 Bears.
Detroit’s offense got the ball first and moved down the field pretty well. A nicely placed ball to Marvin Jones Jr. put the Lions into Bears territory, but the drive quickly stalled. Facing a fourth-and-4, the Lions opted to try a 52-yard field goal. Matt Prater cut the deficit to 16. 26-10 Bears.
The Bears quickly connected on another wide open pass to Miller, but from there, the Lions defense stood strong. Chicago would miss a field goal, giving the Lions an opportunity to get back in this game.....
... but you know when the ellipses come out, something bad is about to happen. Kerryon Johnson was fighting for extra yards on the first play of drive and was stripped from behind, immediately giving the ball back to Chicago. However, the Bears kicker, Cody Parker, hit the upright for the FOURTH time, keeping the score at 26-10.
The two teams would trade punts for a while, but the Bears would eventually distance themselves from Detroit. Allen Robinson thoroughly beat Nevin Lawson on a quick slant and took it 26 yards for the score. The Bears would forego the extra point this time and easily score on the two-point conversion. 34-10 Bears.
The Lions’ offense would continue to struggle, allowing sacks on sacks on sacks. A couple fourth down conversions from Stafford still couldn’t get the offense moving.
The Lions would add a score midway through the fourth, with Stafford finding Kenny Golladay for a 5-yard score. The two-point conversion was no good. 34-16 Bears.
Detroit would recover the ensuing onside kick, keeping the faintest of hope alive. The Lions converted on a fourth-and-10, and then a screen pass to Kerryon Johnson put the Lions on the board again. However, another failed two-point conversion kept the Lions down 12. 34-22 Bears.
But Detroit wouldn’t get the ball back until it was far too late. Detroit failed to recover the next onside kick and the defense gave up a few third-down conversions. That was enough to essentially close out the game.
The loss is the Lions’ third in a row, and, most concerning, Detroit simply does not look very competitive right now. Sure, the schedule has gotten tougher, but the team also seems to be in serious regression right now. The expectation was that the Lions’ defense would continue to improve as they learned the scheme, but we are not seeing it. The Lions offense is now a complete mess and what looked like a competent offensive line has turned into a heap of issues.
The Lions aren’t likely to change head coaches this year, but Matt Patricia has a lot of explaining to do considering how poorly this team is playing right now.
Next week, it’s Carolina.
This week, Detroit Lions fans will have to deal with watching their team without hearing Chris Spielman foaming at the mouth in the background. As the Lions head to Soldier Field to face off against the Chicago Bears, FOX will be carrying the game with the Chris Myers-Daryl Johnston broadcast crew.
For the Lions, this feels like one last desperate effort to save the season. While the team has been impressively good against the division in recent memory, last week’s drubbing at the hands of the Vikings looms large. A third-straight loss would drop this team to 3-6, making any sort of playoff run extremely unlikely.
The Chicago Bears, on the other hand, currently lead the entire NFC North with a 5-3 record thanks to two straight wins over the Jets and Bills. But there remains plenty of people doubting the Bears’ legitimacy. Their best win was over the Seahawks, and that was before Seattle managed to get their act together. They’ll really be tested in December, when they play two division games and the Rams in a stretch of four games.
But for now, the Bears will have to prove they have put their bad track record against the Lions behind them. Detroit has won nine of the past 10 matchups in this rivalry, but this will be the first game in the series for both head coaches Matt Patricia and Matt Nagy.
Here’s how to watch:
How to watch Lions-Bears
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Soldier Field—Chicago, IL
Week 10 TV Map: Courtesy of 506 Sports here
Announcers: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin
Online streaming: Fox Sports Go, Yahoo Sports app
Local radio: WJR-AM NEWS TALK 760
Radio announcers: Dan Miller, Lomas Brown
Odds: Bears by 6.5