False hope was dashed in Detroit Sunday. The uncalled for optimism, which arose after the Lions' first win since 2007, quickly disappeared after a more familiar event took place.
The Lions got pounded, this time it was a 48-24 loss to the Chicago Bears.
After what head coach Jim Schwartz described as “one of the worst second halves of football I’ve ever been associated with,” it was clear, the Lions are still closer to being the team of 2008 than the team its fan base has dreamt about for so long.
Although there were signs, as there have been before, of an improved football team, the end result was humbling. Chicago is an average team in the NFC, and the Lions didn’t even belong on the same field with them.
Yes, the Lions kept pace in the first half and had the Bears locked up in a 21-21 tie at halftime. But, for as good as Matthew Stafford was in the first half, he was equally as bad in the second. That goes for everyone else on the team as well. Nobody stepped up.
It was the same story a few weeks ago against Minnesota, when the Lions blew a 10-0 halftime lead at home. Even last week’s win over Washington saw a dismal second half performance from Detroit. Good teams play their best football in the second half, not their worst. But then again, the Lions are not yet a good team. Not even close.
Adding insult to injury, or perhaps the other way around, was the injury to Stafford. Stafford took a shot to the knee late in the second half and did not return. Stafford may not have played great, but he has shown improvement from week to week. If this injury turns out to be anything long term, which the severity of it has yet to be clarified, it will be a devastating setback for the rookie.
Kevin Smith showed toughness by suiting up and playing, but it was clear he wasn’t healthy. Smith did score on two short touchdown runs, but managed only 30 yards rushing for the game.
Something else was also discovered Sunday. The Lions defensive line is still bad. The Bears moved the pile all game. Matt Forte appeared to be running at half speed and still cruised past the Lions front four with ease.
Lions center Dominic Raiola told reporters earlier in the week that if the Lions went out and beat Chicago the next home game against the Steelers would be a sellout. Nice thought, but I expect to see empty seats at Ford Field and an alternate game televised in the Detroit market next week.
“There’s a lot to be ticked off about,” Schwartz added at the post-game press conference.
Yes coach, yes there is.