Week 1: Bears @ Lions - Review
Chicago Bears 27 - Detroit Lions 23
It had an air of inevitability to it, didn't it?
The Lions were 17 points ahead at the start of the fourth quarter. Of course they were going to lose. I'm sure you all remember the tie against the Cardinals in week 1 of the 2019 season. It definitely had that feel to it.
Firstly, the inactives list was a real blow. The injury report leading up to the game wasn't ideal, but many more players were out than anticipated:
Golladay, Vaitai, Okudah, Bryant, Moore, Stenburg, Williams.
Neither side really got going in the first half. Trubisky was terrible. Stafford wasn't really firing either. It was an underwhelming half with very little of note happening... until Swift finished off a 4 play 48-yard drive, including back to back 16 and 24-yard Hockenson catches to close the half and give Detroit a 13-6 lead.
Detroit really had a hot 3rd quarter, starting strong with an 8 play 72-yard drive, finished by Hockenson for 20-6. Things got even better with a Matt Prater FG to stretch it to a 3 score lead at 23-6.
At this point, it all went downhill. Trubisky got things going with an 11 play 59-yard drive after an excellent return on special teams by Patterson. Jimmy Graham finished it off on the right sideline against a backup corner in a true mismatch of size. 23-13.
Detroit then marched down the field and had another FG attempt to stretch it to a 13 point lead from 55 yards, but the usually automatic Prater hit the upright, instead giving Chicago excellent field position.
Trubisky duly took advantage with a 5 play 55-yard drive. 23-20, cue the sweaty palms.
Stafford then threw a fastball to Marvin Jones in the centre of the field which was well broken up and the ball rebounded high in the air to be picked off by Kyle Fuller. Chicago then had the ball at Detroit's 37-yard line, already in FG range.
2 plays later, Trubisky throws an absolute dime to Anthony Miller for another passing TD and their first lead.
Stafford gets the ball with 1:54 left on the clock. Already downbeat and slightly shellshocked, I remember Stafford's fourth-quarter record is exemplary and I had a little more faith. Stafford promptly marched the team down the field to the 16-yard line, before delivering a dime to D'Andre Swift. He had it in both hands, in the endzone with the clock showing 6 seconds, and then suddenly he didn't have it in them. I remember vividly Aaron, myself and Antony both loudly celebrating before realising the bad news. Stafford couldn't make it happen on the next and final play. 0-1 start.
Stafford: 24 of 42, 297 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Trubisky: 20 of 36, 242 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Stafford had an excellent day for me. He controlled the game for the most part, only missed a couple of passes and the interception was a better than 50:50 pass which was excellently played by the Bears.
Trubisky on the other hand, there was much chat about Foles coming in at half time on Twitter and even halfway into the 3rd quarter before he absolutely balled out. He was excellent in that fourth quarter, but he was also really awful before then. He's saved himself for a week, but the spectre of Foles is still waiting in the wings and he won't have quietened the chatter either.
I'm absolutely gutted, I think we all are. It's a game we had no right to lose. It's a real sucker punch. It really doesn't leave any room for manoeuvre, with the difficult schedule we have, it isn't an overreaction to say that Green Bay is suddenly a must-win game. Matty P must be fearing for his job, losing in this kind of fashion has become a habit under him and Chicago was one of the weaker teams on the schedule.
Positively, the offensive line held up very well against a strong Bears front 7. The D line did generate some pressure which is better than last year where we were very poor. Considering the lack of Golladay, Cephus was a bright point and Adrian Peterson was incredible on the ground.
Negatively, Jamie Collins was ejected for touching the ref with his mask, a stupid act and it could have cost the game, hopefully he will only get a fine and be available next week as we will need him. Trufant left the game injured, hopefully he will be back, but Justin Coleman has gone onto IR after his injury and now can't return until after the bye week. With a really banged up secondary, the Lions really need the 3rd overall pick Okudah to be back fit otherwise Amani Oruwariye will be the CB1, then the CB2 and 3 will be core special teams players.
How do you feel the game went? Any positive feelings? Do you think MP will hang on to his job? Leave a comment below or tweet us on Twitter