Studs and duds in Detroit Lions gift to the Dallas Cowboys
The Detroit Lions went into the Dallas Cowboys' home field and gifted them a win. A plethora of mistakes, including on our final drive that ended with three two-point conversions, left too many points on the field for the Lions to come away with a victory. Falling to 11-5 on the season, while still good, does remove any hope of the #1 seed in the NFC. Even with the loss, there were some standout performances and some clunkers.
Studs in loss to the Cowboys
Losing sucks, especially when there were clear mistakes that cost the team the game. But even amid the loss, some guys really stuck out in their play.
Aidan Hutchinson – 5 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 TFL
Hutchinson was a monster tonight. He was creating havoc in the backfield and came up with three sacks that proved to be monumental in the game. Even though it doesn't show up in the stat sheet, his play in the run game was stellar as well. Just an overall great performance by the Kid from Michigan.
David Montgomery – 14 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD
Monty was a stud on the ground, as he slashed through the Cowboys' tough defense and ran hard. He's creeping closer to 1,000 yards on the season and should be able to get it in the final week against Minnesota. He's been a great addition to the team this past offseason and a great compliment to Jahmyr Gibbs, who's been solid in and of himself.
Duds in belated Christmas gift to Dallas
There are plenty of places to point a finger to here in the duds section. Mistakes abounded throughout the game, including a sack that cost the Lions a potential three points and another three points left on the field when the Lions failed to convert a fourth-and-goal. But here are the biggest offenders
Jared Goff – 19/34, 271, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Don't let the 271 fool you, Jared Goff was not good tonight. He held this team back all night. Yes, there was pressure, but guess what dude, this is the NFL. Move off your spot and make a freaking play. The only time he made plays was when he had a clean pocket. Let's not even really get started on his two horrific interceptions. He was bad and ultimately has to be better if this team is going to do anything in the playoffs.
Lions 3rd Down offense – 4-13 on third down
There's no need to belabor this point. 4-13 on third down is not good, ever. Especially when many of them were less than five yards to go. The play calling during these third downs was atrocious and it killed any momentum the Lions defense could muster.
Lions pass protection – 1 sack allowed, 7 QB hits
The Cowboys defense is stout. But they're not invincible. The Lions' offensive line, especially in the first half really didn't give Goff much time. And, when Goff doesn't have time he's a very sub-par quarterback. That was the tale of the tape tonight and until the final drive when he wasn't under duress, he was good.
The Bottom line
The Lions have had a great season. But platitudes are great, wins are better. These are the games they will be facing in two weeks and cannot make the mistakes they did tonight if they want to advance in the playoffs. Goff has to be better, the O-line has to be better, and Hutch needs to keep his motor running and rest in the offseason.