The Lions beat the Falcons 33-30 on Sunday on a last-minute TD pass from Matthew Stafford to Golden…wait…what? They reviewed what? A 10-second WHAT?!?
So, I stand corrected. The Lions fell to the Falcons 30-26 to fall to 2-1 on the season. Here are the three biggest takeaway from that game.
FINAL PLAY FIASCO
Lions fans were all jumping and screaming when it appeared that Golden Tate took a short pass over the middle from Matthew Stafford and fell into the end zone for the game-winning score with just eight seconds left on the clock. Upon further review, the officials ruled that Tate’s knee was down after contact before the ball broke the plane, so no touchdown. The Lions had already used their timeouts defensively on the previous Falcons drive, so the clock should have kept running, activating an automatic 10-second runoff. That ended the game with the ball on the half-yard line. Here is the play:
— BoRnSoLdieR 《IX IX》 (@LesGndaD) September 24, 2017
It is another moment that will be added to the long list of “Different Insane Bizarre Unbelievable Ways the Lions Have Lost Football Games.” You can see how the Lions reacted to the play here.
DEFENSE DOES IT WHEN IT COUNTS
I think everyone (myself included) underrated the Lions defense going into this year. After last season, where they were in the bottom half in both pass defense and rush defense, it seemed like the only way Detroit was going to win games this year was with an explosive offense. The exact opposite has proven to be true. They intercepted Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan three times, two by Darius Slay, and one by Glover Quin that he returned for a TD. Ryan had not been picked off for nine games, including all three playoff games last year. The defense did not start off dominating, allowing Ryan to get scores on six of their first nine drives. However, when it really counted, they did not give up a point in the fourth quarter and got Stafford and the offense the ball back with a chance to win three times in the final stanza.
OFFENSE LETS THE TEAM DOWN
Unfortunately, Stafford could not take advantage of the defensive help. The O had only one touchdown drive the entire game, but numerous dumb, drive-killing penalties and dropped passes. They managed only two field goals in the first half and even settled for a Prater kick after one of Slay’s interceptions gave them the ball at Atlanta’s 21-yard line. THE 21!! The defense got Stafford the ball three times in the last eight minutes of the game. They went three-and-out twice, gaining a total of four yards on those two drives. Then the last dive went for 85 yards before ending a half yard short. You may want to blame the referees for this loss, but please point a large dose of that venom where it belongs: Jim Caldwell, Matt Stafford, Jim Bob Cooter, and the Lions offense.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: if you thought the dumpster fire was on the field on Sunday, wait until you see THIS!