Inside the locker room: Detroit Lions try to explain what went wrong on Chicago’s 18-game winning streak

DETROIT – Detroit’s defense suffered from miscommunication issues throughout the game, and its last stand stuck out like a sore thumb in the 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears at Thanksgiving.

The Bears used an 18-play, 64-yard drive to eat the game’s final 8 minutes, 30 seconds to put the Lions away. They started on their own 21-yard line, got six first downs, and kicked the game-winning 28-yard field goal by the buzzer. If that wasn’t enough, the Lions discovered a new way to put the cherry on top of their losses – calling in consecutive timeouts without a snap, resulting in a 5-yard penalty before the third-and-9, while also leaving them with only one chance to stop the clock. Dalton and the Bears moved the chains, knelt three times and then kicked the match winner as time went on.

“They came out really early and threw the ball,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said when asked about the final drive. “They would try to loosen up in front and try to open us up and back us up a bit. Then they came out in the second half and started running it, did a few things. And look, a couple of penalties popped up that killed us. They hurt us. I’ll just return to this in general. Now we had too many penalties today, but the penalties, some teams can overcome them and some can not. We can not overcome the penalties right now that we get.

“But in the end I just felt – defensively – that they really hung in there again. And I just – when you prevent your opponent from scoring 16 points or whatever – which is three weeks in a row – we need to be able to “- then we have to find a way to win that match. So defensively, I know they’re giving us a chance right now.”

Although Campbell is not mistaken, it was again the defense that failed in the final minutes despite another strong performance. The Lions are 0-2-1 while keeping their last three opponents at 20 points or less each week. Last week, it was Brown’s running back Nick Chubb who put the game on ice after Campbell chose to put the team’s last chance away. This week, it was a combination of Andy Dalton that made plays happen, including a clever little option-like throw to David Montgomery while taking advantage of Detroit’s miscommunication and penalties.

It’s not like the Bears reinvented the wheel on the last drive. It was a heavy dose of Montgomery, with the runback running six times in 17 yards on the game-winning series. Dalton was four for six passes in 36 yards on the winning drive and knelt three times to set the field goal. Veteran quarterback Damiere Byrd hit 12 yards on third and 5 from Chicago’s 37-yard line, then hit Cole Kmet in 12 yards on second-and-11 on Detroit’s side of the field. He went back to Byrd on the third-and-4th after the timeout penalty in 7 yards, putting the fight away with the Lions unable to stop the clock enough to make a difference.

“It’s frustrating,” said Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone. “I feel like defensively we have to stop them. We had the lead and we have to figure out a way to get them off the pitch and not score points. That’s really it.”

See below for more inside the locker room after Detroit’s recent loss:

Lions coach Dan Campbell on what fell apart regarding defensive communication: “It was a check on what they were doing. So you only get it when it’s in the middle of the piece, but it’s something we’d talked about. And so you do not get it pre-snap, it’s a call, and it basically has a check on what they want to do and what they line up offensively is what happened. So we had half in one call and half in another. So the first thing in my head is, ‘Well , we have a blown cover and they’re about to score a touchdown, so I do it, which you can not, and now it’s a penalty, but I know if he threw it out in an apartment, it was by to be a touchdown. ‘ Can’t do that. “

Anzalone, the team-selected captain and middle linebacker, on the situation with double timeout: “We were sort of in coverage zero and they went to max pro. We checked to two high, cover two. And that was a bit why I was trying to forward the call. After that, I’m not really sure what happened. I think we called timeout and I’m not sure if everyone was on the same page. It was still, I think, third down after that. Either way, the 5-yard penalty was not that big of a deal. Instead of a touchdown, it really put the game out of reach. “

Lions CB Amani Oruwariye’s position on miscommunication: “We have to communicate, man. There were a couple of replacement errors, pairs like I said, error communication. We just can not get it, man. Especially the type of season we have, we have to eliminate any errors or any “We need to clear up that.”

Oruwariye about what he saw on his interception, even though he looked out of sorts before snapping: “I just knew when it came to a certain part of the red zone – they run a lot of burglary routes. I know you can not run past than zone, so I cut myself a little below it.”

Campbell on his offensive playcalling: “Do you think I should have thrown more? I saw you. Throw deeper? I think I – and I do not judge what you say – I understand that. I know there can be some frustration. But it is also , I’m aware of how you keep yourself in this game, keep moving the football.There were so many things we did early this year where the disaster happens.It’s bag smoke, it’s all this because we’re trying to be a little more aggressive. So maybe we could have it, but I feel at the end of the day – we threw it more than we ran it. You try to do a few things and it’s just when you come in. in those who hold calls and they just stand there and look at you, you’re trying to be smart about how you want to do it.You want to get yourself at that point in a third-and-manageable – just let us find a way to get to third-and-7 and then when you do not, now you sit there, it’s third-and-a-half and it’s hard. I do not regret it. I still want to be ice tooth to play football because I think it starts like that. I like that we threw it deep a little. We could push the ball down the field. We got a big touchdown. I think there again, you just – take it where it goes. Give yourself a chance. We had a chance in the end. It was not good enough. But I equate it with not throwing it anymore, I equate it with the punishments. “

Lions LT Taylor Decker on how difficult the frequent waiting calls were to overcome: “It’s frustrating, but I think it’s a good way to say it, you can not lose your stinger because football is an aggressive sport. As an o-lineman you do everything you can to get your hands inside and try to drive the guy and have awareness of where the ball carrier is, where the quarterback is, but yes, you have to keep playing aggressively.Just try to play with good technique and good awareness and if they call it, they call it. But we are not going to play for the time being. I think that would be the wrong way to do it. Clearly I have not seen every single repetition of what was called, so we will have to check the tape and see how we can improve it. “

Lions QB Jared Goff on If This Young List Should Learn to Win: “First you have to learn how not to lose, and that is something that we have obviously had a hard time doing, especially in these close matches. How do you take care of football late in the match? How do you stop in the defense? How do you move the ball effectively later in the game and not hurt yourself? For me, how can I stay in my pocket and not let those guys be moved away from my seat and allow a waiting call there in some cases? These are some little things that the good teams do and do consistently, and something we are working towards, something we are on our way to, I think. But it is something we are working towards. ”

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