Adrian Peterson crossed the aim line after an unbelievable comeback and his offensive line sprinted towards him, bouncing round, hugging, celebrating. It felt like a season’s value — three seasons’ value — of frustrations launched.
Matt Patricia was fired after Thanksgiving, selling Darrell Bevell to interim head coach. And but, for many of Sunday, the Detroit Lions appeared like, properly, the Lions. Essential errors on offense. Unable to cease anybody on protection. Then, in a scenario the place far too typically beneath Patricia the Lions’ would make a mistake or fail resulting in a loss, they as an alternative confirmed life. Confirmed happiness.
All week Bevell preached a brand new vitality, a brand new perspective and wanting his gamers to have as a lot enjoyable as attainable. By the top Sunday, it appeared prefer it – giving Bevell extra wins in opposition to the Bears (one) than his predecessor, Patricia (zero).
Make no mistake. The Lions are nonetheless not a very good staff. Nonetheless are a staff with a number of holes and lots of, many issues.
However the ardour Bevell wished, the joy he implored Detroit to have confirmed up once more for the primary time in a very long time. And that they sealed it on a stopping a David Montgomery run
— the place the Bears wanted a yard and the Lions wouldn’t give it to them — signified all the pieces Bevell wished them to be.
Mike Ford congratulated Bevell on the sideline. So did different coaches and gamers. It was unlikely. It was sudden. And for Detroit, it was a begin.
Promising pattern: For as dangerous as Detroit’s protection was for many of Sunday — and the Lions protection continued to be fairly dangerous — defensive finish Romeo Okwara as soon as once more stood out positively. He compelled stress on Mitchell Trubisky a few occasions and had a strip-sack to provide Detroit an opportunity to win with 1:54 left. He additionally blocked a Chicago further level, a shiny spot this season on an in any other case tough Lions protection. Okwara is a free agent after the season and Detroit will possible must pay a very good amount of cash to maintain him.
Largest gap within the sport plan: It wasn’t a lot a gap as a lot as a years-long problem unable to be solved even with Detroit altering its head coach. Detroit’s run protection (and protection usually) continued to be unable to do a lot productive. The Lions allowed Chicago to achieve 140 yards dashing and Trubisky to play properly in opposition to Detroit once more, finishing 76.5 p.c of his passes for 267 yards, one landing and no interceptions.
QB Breakdown: Stafford was extra aggressive, which was good, and for a big majority of the sport appeared extra just like the top-end quarterback he seemed to be final season. He did throw a fourth-quarter interception to a defensive lineman on a vital drive the place Detroit was making an attempt to rally from a 10-point gap. However the Lions — due to an environment friendly fourth-quarter drive and an enormous defensive cease — rallied anyway. Stafford had his tenth 400-yard sport of his profession and first since Nov. 3, 2019 in opposition to Oakland, the sport through which he injured his again, ending his 2019 season. Stafford was 27-of-42 passes for 402 yards, three touchdowns and an interception — additionally transferring into sixteenth place all-time in touchdowns with 277, passing Vinny Testaverde (275).