Matthew Silka, Staff Writer
Lions RB Jamaal Williams fumbles the ball at the goal line. Photo//Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports
A 1-4 team coming out of their bye week, the Detroit Lions desperately needed to get back on track with a strong performance against the Dallas Cowboys.
While the offense had been outperforming the defense by a large margin this season, everything changed this past Sunday. It was the defense that kept Detroit in the game.
To begin the game, Dallas won the toss and elected to receive, looking to set the tone by scoring on the first possession. However, Detroit’s defense was ready, forcing a three-and-out capped off by a huge sack by rookie standout Aidan Hutchinson.
Detroit started their first drive with fairly good field position. A nice catch by receiver Kalif Raymond got the Lions to midfield, but they were forced to punt it away after multiple poorly executed run plays.
Detroit got a quick stop and quickly drove down the field into Cowboys territory. The drive stalled, but new kicker Michael Badgley was able to convert a 39-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Detroit.
Unfortunately, Detroit’s star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was forced to exit the game with concussion-like symptoms on that same drive and did not return. Although he was ruled to not have a concussion after being examined in the blue tent, newly enforced protocols allow referees to remove players from the game if they notice unbalanced or clumsy movements, which St. Brown apparently exhibited after getting up from the tackle.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott did a great job marching the team down the field on the next possession and managed to get all the way inside Detroit’s 10-yard line. Detroit’s defense held up though, forcing Dallas to kick a field goal to tie the game 3-3.
On the ensuing drive, Lions quarterback Jared Goff was able to find tight end T.J. Hockenson for a nice gain. A roughing the passer call helped push Detroit deep into Dallas territory before a holding penalty cost the Lions this good field position. Badgley was able to cash in another field goal from 53 yards out: 6-3 Detroit.
Prescott led the Cowboys down the field and into the redzone once more, but a great hit from Lions rookie safety Kerby Joseph forced the ball free from Cowboys receiver Noah Brown. Detroit recovered and took the 6-3 lead into halftime.
Although Detroit had the lead, the offense did not look good. Goff kept true to that to begin the second half by throwing an interception into the arms of Trevon Diggs. This was followed by two long runs and a defensive pass interference call, which got the Cowboys to the goal line.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott was able to punch it in for the short score, making it 10-6 Dallas.
The rest of the third quarter saw both defenses play very well as the 10-6 lead held its way into the fourth quarter.
Detroit had a great drive going to begin the fourth as backup tight end Brock Wright found himself just short of the goal line. Running back Jamaal Williams proceeded to fumble the ball the very next play, the first of his career. The Lions went from appearing to take a fourth quarter lead to being completely demoralized in just two plays.
Detroit’s defense did manage to get a stop before Goff threw his second pick of the game on the next drive. Dallas drove down the field slowly and wasted the clock, still managing to get Elliott into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.
Just when things seemed like they could not get worse, Goff was strip sacked on the next drive which led to yet another touchdown for the Cowboys.
Final Score: Dallas 24, Detroit 6
QB Jared Goff fumbles the football after a sack, giving the Cowboys possession. Photo//Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports
I honestly don’t even want to get into the stats from this week on offense as they are abysmal from top to bottom.
The Lions defense did step up, however, with their best output of the season. They looked improved and more confident on the field compared to how they did before the bye week. The performances from Hutchinson (1.5 sacks), Joseph (forced fumble), and Jeff Okudah (15 total tackles) were very encouraging and the lone bright spots from the loss.
This team is extremely hard to understand as the offense has stalled the past two games. Detroit has scored six total points and is without a touchdown since Week 4 after being the highest scoring offense in the NFL through four weeks.
Whatever the reason for this, one thing is clear: The Detroit Lions are once again a horrendous football team.
Sure, there are numerous bright spots and players have shined from week-to-week, but enough is enough. The fanbase wants to see results, not flashes of greatness. Results.
The Detroit Lions have a much improved roster since last year but are 1-5 with the worst record in the league.
Enough is enough.
The Lions (1-5) will look to give the fans a glimmer of hope in a Week 8 matchup at Ford Field against the Miami Dolphins (4-3), who have played well under first year head coach Mike McDaniel.