The Detroit Lions flipped the script this week. Against the Bears, the Lions pulled out the daggers, strip sacking quarterback Mitch Trubisky deep in his own territory to set up a game winning touchdown to beat their division rivals 34-30. Here are a few takeaways from the Lions fifth win of the year.
Already putting Patricia behind them
The Detroit Lions already look like a new team under interim head coach Darrell Bevell. They were more aggressive and Matthew Stafford even came out of the tunnel smiling—which the broadcast pointed out on multiple occasions. Instead of blowing a late lead, they forced their opponents into crucial mistakes late.
Detroit also seemed to show more fight once things were going wrong. Stafford threw a costly second half interception to a defensive lineman—a play that could have doomed them. In weeks past, the Lions would shut down after these sorts of plays and show no fight down the line.
The Lions defense—and specifically their pass rush—came up huge down the line. Romeo Okwara, who is having a break out 2020 season, pulled off the crucial strip sack late in the game. Everson Griffen, a late addition to the team, was all over the field late in the game, and came up with a big sack himself.
This was not a pretty game at all for the Lions. They might have still lost in the end had the Bears not entirely mismanaged their final possession. Still, though, they showed an ability to overcome these errors and still pulled out a miraculous victory.
More rushing game woes
While there were some changes for the better, the main issues that haunted the Lions throughout the Patricia era still remained this week.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery rushed for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns on 17 attempts, and Cordarrelle Patterson had a 59-yard, one touchdown performance on 10 attempts. The Lions were gashed on the ground again this week, and it should have cost them the game in the end.
On the other side, Detroit failed to get their own run game going without D’Andre Swift in the lineup. Kerryon Johnson only totaled three rushing yards on as many attempts, while Adrian Peterson, who was tasked with being the lead back this week, only had 57 yards on 16 carries, though he did score twice.
Establishing their run, and stopping the opponents run has been a problem for this team for years. It was a problem before Patricia arrived, and remained a problem throughout his tenure. While winning the ball via the ground seems outdated, this is still a problem Detroit should be working to fix over these final weeks of the season.