Once again, the Detroit Lions have lost on Thanksgiving.
Dan Campbell’s group squandered what was a winnable game, falling 16-14 to the Chicago Bears thanks in part to some questionable coaching late in the game.
Cairo Santos kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired after the Lions were assessed a penalty for using back-to-back timeouts, a new way for the team to lose. The game-winning field goal was the culmination of a drive that lasted 8:30.
Here are three studs and duds from the Lions’ performance.
STUD: Jared Goff, QB
Playing for the first time since Week 10, Goff surprised everyone when he connected with Josh Reynolds on a deep shot that went for a 39-yard touchdown. He wasn’t spectacular, and it looked as though he was still a bit bothered by the oblique injury, but he was efficient.
Goff hit each of his first 12 throws, throwing his first incompletion on a long throwaway in the second quarter. He finished a solid 21-of-25 for 171 yards and two scores, throwing one to Reynolds and one to T.J. Hockenson.
He did lose a fumble on a sack, but he was what the Lions needed him to be on Thursday. He wasn’t impressive, but he was efficient and kept the team in the game.
DUD: Taylor Decker, LT
It was a tough task for Decker and company going up against one of the better pass rushes in football. The Ohio State product was up and down, being penalized twice for holding including once on the last drive one play after Tommy Kraemer did the same.
Decker was also beat by Robert Quinn on the play that Goff fumbled, allowing the defensive end to get to the quarterback. He wasn’t the only offensive lineman penalized but needed to be much better against a good Bears defensive line.
STUD: Josh Reynolds, WR
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Reynolds provided the offense with a much-needed shot of life Thursday when he caught two passes on the first drive, first a 16-yard toss from Goff and then the touchdown. He would reel in only one more pass on the afternoon but was one of the team’s better players on offense.
The veteran wideout can be a top option in the Lions’ offense. One of the reasons he requested a release from Tennessee was the ability to contribute more, and with Detroit he can do just that.
DUD: Tommy Kraemer, OG
Like Decker, Kraemer was penalized twice for holding. It wasn’t going to be easy for Kraemer, as he was just recently recalled from the practice squad due to the injury to Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Yet, the Lions needed a better effort from the young tackle.
The Lions didn’t have much success running the ball, as Kraemer and Decker were unable to generate the big holes. This combined with the penalties made for an off afternoon in the ground game.
STUD: Amani Oruwariye, CB
Oruwariye notched his fifth interception in nine games with a pick in the end zone against Andy Dalton. He nearly came down with one earlier in the game, failing to haul in the pass when Chicago tight end Jesse James ripped him to the turf.
As the season has worn on, the young corner has established himself as one of the top secondary option on the team. He was good again Thursday, with two passes defensed and two tackles in addition to the interception.
DUD: Evan Brown, C
Yep, another lineman makes the list. It was three penalties for Brown, including two false starts. These penalties are rare to see on a center, let alone twice in one game.
As he continues to fill in for Frank Ragnow, who was a budding all-pro before his injury, there will be ups and downs like this for Brown. Yet, in the same vein as the previous two, these penalties at this high a volume are unacceptable.