Big Mistakes Hurt Lions' Offense in Fourth Quarter

Vito Chirco

"One play at a time." 

That was Detroit offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's message for his team, after the Lions failed to score a single point in the fourth quarter Sunday in their 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears.

The Bears managed to outscore the Lions 21-0 in the final quarter, leading to Detroit's eighth blown lead in the fourth quarter since the beginning of the 2019 campaign. 

The late-game struggles have largely been a result of Lions head coach Matt Patricia's defense collapsing down the stretch. However, Matthew Stafford and the offense are also at fault for failing to close out opponents. 

Heading into the team's Week 2 matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the onus is on Statford & Co. to keep their foot on the gas pedal in the fourth quarter.

"I think we need to continue to make plays, continue to be consistent," Bevell said in a video conference with Detroit media Tuesday. 

Consistency is a must, and it's something the offense was clearly lacking in its Week 1 affair with the Bears. 

Stafford led the offense on three straight scoring drives from the end of the first half until the latter portion of the third quarter (3:24 to play in the quarter). 

However, once the fourth quarter hit, the offense went cold. 

It failed to score on all four of its possessions, and Stafford threw a costly interception with 2:45 to play that led to Chicago's game-winning score.

"The last four drives, we don't end up scoring anything," Bevell added. "Now, there was a missed field goal opportunity in there (Lions kicker Matt Prater from 55 yards out with 4:08 remaining). But, just continuing to make plays, continuing to take it one play at a time, not getting ahead of yourself, not worrying about the score, not looking at what's happening anywhere else. Just taking it one play at a time and being able to play at a consistent level. And I think if we do that, continue to do that, you know, one play at a time and 11 guys playing together, then, all of that will take care of itself. That's kind of the message that I had for them."

It's a message that every one of the 11 men on offense will need to absorb quickly, with Detroit's next contest being with the aforementioned Packers. 

Rodgers & Co. scored 43 points in their season-opening tilt with the Minnesota Vikings. 

Reason enough for why Bevell can't afford to run a conservative offensive attack in Week 2. 

Stafford's inopportune sack 

Stafford must also play a smarter brand of football in crunch time. 

Not only did he throw his lone pick of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday, but he also took a sack on a second-down play with 5:39 to go that resulted in a loss of nine yards.

It set up the missed Prater field goal, which would've been from a shorter distance if it wasn't for the Stafford sack. 

"We ended up taking a sack that really was a bad play on our part, and made that a long field goal," Bevell commented. "So, on third down, we tried to get it back into field-goal range. And just, we made the kick long. You can put that on the offense, by taking that sack. We didn't need to take it. We were moving the ball well (prior)."  

An inexcusable mistake that Stafford can ill-afford to make in the Lions' Week 2 clash with Green Bay.  

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Comments (3)
No. 1-2

They wasted one day of a very short pre-season telling stories about how tough these spoiled little millionaires had it. Meanwhile, the rest of the league was preparing for football. Prayers to the two LA cops shot innocently by one of their supporters. Step up Matthew and donate some money for real social justice. I've gotten off my knees and have stopped praying for the Lions. Now I stand up and walk away.


The Lions have been taking it one play at a time for over 60 years and see where it got them. We need a real GM that finds the next trend, O or D scheme before it becomes popular and is figured out already. Detroit always gets the guy whose system worked 4 or 5 years ago, never the new hit young coordinator. SOL