The Detroit Lions went into Chicago looking for their first two-game winning streak and a first road win in the Dan Campbell era, and the row to hoe wasn't easy. The Detroit Lions: 3 Takeaways will look at some decisions Campbell made that could have proved costly, the disciplined play of the Lions and a few huge plays led to a MASSIVE 31-30 victory for the Lions, their second in a row.
What are the Detroit Lions: 3 takeaways against the Chicago Bears
There are a number of things that could be written in this section, like missed opportunities, the offense and their Dr. Jeykell and Mr. Hyde approach to the season, but these three things really stuck out in the 31-30 victory for the Lions.
Takeaway #1: In a game of possessions, it's okay to use your timeouts on defense
Toward the end of the first half, Dan Campbell had a great opportunity to steal an extra possession, even after Justin Fields scrambled for a game-tying touchdown. On that drive, the Bears went 75 yards, in 15 plays, and ate up 7:06 on the clock. Ten of those 15 plays were rushes, which continued to run the clock.
Knowing that you're getting the ball after halftime, Campbell could have stolen a possession by saving some time for his offense to get the ball down the field and potentially score. Especially knowing how slow your offense starts out of most halftimes this season, stealing a possession there would have been beneficial. It's another one of those situations where you scratch your head at the decision-making by Dan Campbell.
Takeaway #2: This game could've gotten ugly early if not for penalties
The first three drives of the Bears were stalled by penalties. One drive ended in a field goal, the other in a punt, and they overcame one for a touchdown. But their nine penalties, compared to the Lions' two on the day, proved to keep the game a lot closer than it potentially could have been.
There is no guarantee that they would have converted those other two initial drives, but it is definitely true that they played an impact. And with the way the score wound up, it seems to reason some of those penalties that led to extended drives for the Lions or took points off the board for the Bears could have been the major difference in the game.
Takeaway #3: The Defense stepped up HUGE!
Look, were they porous at points? Yes, yes they were. But did they make big plays when they need to make big plays? Absolutely. In the final four drives, the Bears threw a pick-six, scored their own touchdown, punted, and turned the ball over on downs. Jeff Okudah and Aidan Hutchinson made probably the biggest plays with Okduah's touchdown, which tied the game, and Hutchinson's sack on second-and-ten on the Bears' final drive. But Alex Anzalone's coverage on Cole Kmet forcing a three-and-out, and Julian Okwara's sack to end the game was massive for the Lions' victory in the Windy City.
At the end of the day, the Lions secured their third win of the season, their second win in a row, and their first road win under Dan Campbell. They will now set their sites on the New York Giants as they prepare for their second consecutive road game.