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The Detroit Lions not only had a chance to notch their first win of the season, but a victory in Chicago would have catapulted the team into second place in the NFC North. Alas, the Lions played their worst all-around game of the young season in a 24-14 loss to the division-rival Bears.
This is not a game the Lions, from head coach Dan Campbell on down, will be proud of. Nor should they be. Detroit made far too many mistakes to merit any sort of pride in its performance. To borrow from one of Campbell’s favorite expressions, his Lions fired way too many bullets into their own feet.
It’s hard to pinpoint which shot to the paw was the worst for the Lions. There are so many candidates:
The errant snap by Frank Ragnow that bounced directly off QB Jared Goff into the hands of Bears DT Bilal Nichols that ended the Lions first drive.
The blown coverage between CB Bobby Price and S Will Harris that led to a 64-yard gain by the Bears. Oh yeah, Romeo Okwara left the game with an injury on the play.
The tipped Goff pass on 4th-and-5 inside the Bears 10-yard line that ended the Lions second drive.
The brutal series of missed tackles and poor angles by the Lions defense on the Bears’ ensuing touchdown drive.
The strip sack by Bears OLB Khalil Mack that ended the Lions third offensive drive, another empty red zone trip. That play came just after a well-protected Goff missed a wide-open Kalif Raymond for an easy TD throw your local 8th-grader could complete.
More blown coverages in Chicago’s first drive of the second half, an efficient TD drive that effectively put the game out of reach.
This final 4th-down play:
Forget the play call. Forget not kicking the FG. Cephus was WIDE open. pic.twitter.com/TtOXQfa2Cn
— Jamal Spencer (@JamalSpencerTV) October 3, 2021
It’s depressing to recall all the mistakes the Lions made throughout the game, and the above is far from a complete list of the important ones, too. Sure, there were indeed some positive plays. Kalif Raymond and Quintez Cephus both played quite well at wide receiver. The defense did tighten later in the game and found a bit of a pass rush. The special teams played well all-around. But it was far too many plays in the negative side of the ledger for the Lions in this one.
It’s a blown opportunity. A win in Chicago would have lifted the Lions to 1-3, the same record as the Bears and the Vikings. It would have been a divisional road win, giving the Lions the tiebreaker and a shot in Minnesota at the Vikings next week. Instead, the Lions remain winless and mired in last place and they have only themselves to blame.