The Detroit Lions give one away against the Dallas Cowboys
The Detroit Lions headed to Arlington, Texas for a special Monday Night Football broadcast against the Dallas Cowboys. It was a game of streaks as the Lions were trying to stay perfect in prime time while the Cowboys had won their last 15 games at home. They came into the game struggling, but a lot was on the line tonight, including the #2 seed in the NFC.
A sluggish start on offense digs a hole for Lions
The Lions took the ball first and went down the field, converting some huge third downs. They ultimately stalled out after a block-in-the-back on Jonah Jackson and had to settle for a Michael Badgley field goal. Points in a game like this are always a success, and the Lions struck first. The defense bent but didn't break, with Ifeatu Melifonwu picking off Dak Prescott's third-down pass, giving the ball right back to the offense to keep cooking. The offense moved the ball again, but a third-down sack knocked them out of field goal range, having to settle for a punt.
On the Cowboys' ensuing drive, the Lions failed to finish a sack and Prescott connected with Ceedee Lamb for a 92-yard touchdown on third-and-thirteen. The inability to complete sacks has been the Lions' kryptonite this season and Derrick Barnes ran right past Dak without even attempting to wrap him up. The Lions' offense followed by going three and out and giving the ball right back to the Cowboys. Jared Goff turned the ball back over to the Cowboys after the defense stood up and shut down the Cowboys' offense. The offense sputtered through the first quarter and a half of the game.
Once again, the Lions' defense stood up and forced another turnover on a goal-to-go situation, giving the offense another chance. However, once again Goff couldn't connect with his receivers and the Lions went three and out, but Dan Campbell rolled the dice and converted a fake punt, giving the offense new life. Jahmyr Gibbs slashed the Cowboys' defense down the field but on fourth-and-goal Goff couldn't connect with Sam LaPorta and the Lions' turned the ball over leaving points on the field. The Lions took the ball back with 1:40 left in the half and promptly went three-and-out. The Lions went into the half down 7-3.
Gritty performance and gutsy calls ultimately sink Lions
The Cowboys opened with the ball, converted a third down, but then were forced to punt. The Lions took the ball right down the field on their ensuing possession which was capped off by a David Montgomery touchdown. The Lions offense finally found a grove by feeding Monty and took a long drive to pay dirt, something that was desperately needed in the third quarter — something that hasn't been kind to them all season. The Cowboys followed up the Lions' score with a sustained drive of their own, which ended in a field goal and knotted the game.
The Lions negated a 34-yard run by Gibbs on their next drive by holding, then went to the fourth quarter trying to get it back. AND GET IT BACK THEY DID – Goff hit Jameson Williams for a BOMB to set up another Badgley field goal and gave the Lions the lead. That lead didn't last long as Prescott found Brandin Cooks for a short score. The Lions' offense didn't take too much time going three-and-out turning the ball right back over. Aidan Hutchinson came up with a HUGE sack on third down, stalling the drive the Cowboys were trying to ice the game with. The ball went back to the offense trying to get something going on this final drive. But Goff threw his second interception of the game on an absolutely horrific throw to LaPorta.
The defense played their tails off for the entire game and once again held the Cowboys to a field goal after the Goff turnover. The Lions took over with 1:41 and started to march down the field. Two completions to LaPorta and one to Amon-Ra St. Brown and the Lions were cooking. On third-and-ten, Goff found LaPorta for the first down and on the next play Goff found St. Brown for the touchdown. Dan Campbell went for two and Goff found Taylor Decker (yes you heard that right) for the two-point conversion, which failed because of illegal touching. Total chaos ensued because then Dallas was offside on the Lions' second attempt. On our third two-point attempt, Goff noodle armed a ball and it fell incomplete.