DETROIT — The season isn’t over for the Lions after they imploded in a 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears in their opener.
However, at 0-1 the immediate future looks at least partly cloudy. Next Sunday they’re at Green Bay, followed by a game at Arizona and then back home on Oct. 4 to host the New Orleans Saints.
The fourth-quarter collapse was brutal. The Lions were ahead 23-6 when the quarter started and hanging their heads when it was over.
Last year the Lions led in 14 of their 16 games and held fourth-quarter leads in 10 games and yet they managed just 3 wins (3-12-1) all year.
So the emphasis for this season was on finishing. It just didn’t happen in the opener. The debacle wasn’t shocking, we’d seen it before.
Five thoughts about the loss:
1. Adrian Peterson made his Lions’ debut with 14 carries for 93 yards (6.6 yards per carry) along with three catches for 21 yards. Good call on signing the 35-year-old free agent. “I thought he gave great effort, I thought he gave great energy. I think the guys, really, they like to be out there with him and they know he’s going to work hard and he’s going to go hard every single play. So that was good to see,’’ coach Matt Patricia said. “I really thought he made some tough runs. I thought he brought a physical style to the run game and that was encouraging.”
2. Matthew Stafford was 24 of 42 for 297 yards, 1 touchdown and one interception. A clear indication that the Bears defense was working came in the Lions final possession when the quarterback scrambled for one yard on first-and-10 to kick off the drive, then two plays later ran for 7 yards, again on a first down. He did complete a 32-yard pass to Danny Amendola on that drive. And he put the winning touchdown in D’Andre Swift’s hands in the end zone but he dropped it. This loss wasn’t all on Stafford but he was a part of it. “We just have to execute better. When you look at it that’s the name of the game in the fourth quarter. We didn’t do it enough last year and we didn’t do it obviously enough today,’’ Stafford said.
3. Linebacker Jamie Collins was ejected early in the second quarter. He was apparently trying to show referee Alex Kemp that one of the Bears was leading with his helmet. But he misplayed it and butted his head into Kemp who told the pool reporter he threw him out for the contact. The intent had nothing to do with the decision. When he was thrown out Collins already had 3 tackles and a pass defense. It was a bonehead play on his part and it was costly for the team.
4. Both teams were a little slow out of the gate which was to be expected since there were no preseason contests. The Lions held a 13-6 lead at the half after a touchdown dash by rookie running back D’Andre Swift with 19 seconds left.
5. Tight end T.J. Hockenson, who had a standout training camp, continued it with five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.
By the numbers: Matt Patricia is 9-23-1 as head coach with the Lions.. … Safety Tracy Walker led the defense with seven tackles. … Trey Flowers had the Lions’ only sack of Mitchell Trubisky. … Cornerbacks Justin Coleman and Desmond Trufant both left the game with hamstring injuries and did not return. … The Lions had 98 rushing yards in the second half after only 40 in the first half. … Danny Amendola led the wide receivers with five catches for 81 yards. … Rookie wide receiver Quintez Cephus had the most targets (10), but he caught just three of them for 43 yards.
(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)