After blowing a 23-6 lead, the Detroit Lions somehow someway found themselves in a position to defeat the Chicago Bears.
With under 10 seconds left on the clock, rookie running back D’Andre Swift, who scored a touchdown earlier in the game, got open and Matthew Stafford saw him. Stafford threw a perfect pass that hit Swift right in the hands but the rookie, uncharacteristically, dropped what would have been the game-winning touchdown.
It was a catch that anyone who has ever played football has made. It was a catch Swift should have made, but he didn’t.
In case you have not already seen the play a million times, here ya go. (I’m sorry)
Just a brutal drop by d'andre swift pic.twitter.com/vDZw9u9JOZ
— Trevor Bond (@bondtrevorbond) September 13, 2020
Following the 27-23 loss, Swift’s teammates and coaches tried to console him. Lions head coach Matt Patricia told Swift that he was not responsible for the loss.
From Detroit Free Press:
“I put my arm around him as soon as we got to the tunnel, walked up the tunnel with him and told him, you know, he’s a great player,” Patricia said “The game is not on him. It’s on me, it’s on the entire bad execution and bad plays that we had toward the end of the game and the bad coaching. We all had opportunities to do a better job and we know that we’ve got to do that going forward.
“But he’s a great young player, he’s going to be a good player for a long time, he’s going to make a lot of plays and we’ll just push forward.”
Stafford said he believes Swift will bounce back.
“I think he’ll turn the page,” Stafford said. “There’s so many plays in this game that caused it to go the way that it went. That’s one of them.
“There’s plays that we all wish we had back. I can’t turn the ball over in the fourth quarter, there’s no question about that. It’s on everybody. We’re all there to pick him up and go from there.”
Future Hall of Fame RB Adrian Peterson told Swift that it is not about what happened, it is about how he responds to it.
“He had a great day out there as far as being a rookie,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “He’s showing up, he made plays. He made some good head-up plays on different situations that he was in there on. But I just pulled him to the side and told him, ‘Hey, it’s all about how you respond to this. Don’t let this get you down.’ I can imagine how he feels, you know? In that situation how he must feel.
“But at the end of the day, what he showed me today is that he’s going to be able to help us. He’s going to win games for us going into the season. So keep your head up, man. We’ve got 15 more (games). It’s a long season and at the end of the day, do not let this bother you. Do not let this linger. Focus on the next game, which is Green Bay. And focus on hey, if you’re in that position again, what you going to do to capitalize? That’s all that matters.”
This may have been Swift’s first big mistake as an NFL running back, but if he let’s it get the best of him, rather than putting it behind him and moving on to the next game, one bad play could end up impactoing more than one game.