Lions vs Bengals Review: Lions Season Ends On Mistakes And Miscues

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Detroit Was In Win-Now Mode As Their Season Comes To A Close.

With many different playoff situations coming into today’s game, they all relied on one thing. The Detroit Lions had to win out and it started against the Cincinnati Bengals. They couldn’t get the job done as the team struggled to run against the worst rush defense in the NFL, made simple mistakes, and coaching playcalling was the main difference in the game. Detroit was supposed to win this game against a banged up team, and they struggled to get anything going. Maybe it was better for this team to avoid the playoffs and get embarrassed on a national spotlight.

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Quarterback Matt Stafford had a shaky beginning with some questionable throws, but he was able to recover well and get things going. Stafford would finish 19/35 for 203 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Stafford also eclipsed 4,000 yards for the seventh straight season, one behind Peyton Manning and four behind Drew Brees.

Against the worst run defense in the NFL, the Detroit Lions couldn’t run the football. Starting running back Theo Riddick finished with eight carries for 16 yards. Ameer Abdullah had six carries for 21 yards, while Tion Green was the best running back with seven carries for 43 yards and a touchdown.

Starting tight end Eric Ebron was the main target today, as he has improved after having a rough first half of the season, he finished with five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay also had four catches, but for 28 yards. Marvin Jones, former Cincinnati Bengal, had three catches for 50 yards. Golden Tate had three catches for 14 yards.

With their starting right tackle, right guard, and center out, Stafford was behind an offensive line with three backups. The line did well for a majority of the game, but when the team needed a comeback they allowed back to back sacks.  They still couldn’t help much for the running backs as even against the worst run defense they still couldn’t produce much on the ground.

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Getting pressure on the quarterback was possible for the Lions. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah finished with seven tackles and three sacks, four tackles for loss. Defensive end Dwight Freeney still wasn’t able to get anything on the stat sheet, but he came close to a strip sack and he was able to put pressure on Dalton, who threw one interception due to pressure. Defensive tackle Akeem Spence led the group in tackles with eight.

The linebackers were horrible at coverage and helping stop the run. The Bengals came in with the worst rushing offense in the NFL, behind Detroit, but running back Giovanni Bernard was able to run and catch all over the Lions linebackers. The linebackers also struggled with covering tight ends but were lucked out with badly thrown passes. Tahir Whitehead led the linebacker group with nine tackles, one for loss. Jalen Reeves-Maybin had three tackles and one pass deflection. First-round Jarrad Davis had five tackles, one for loss.

Converted safety Quandre Diggs had five tackles and an interception as he has impressed many since moving to safety for the injured Tavon Wilson. Cornerback Darius Slay had six tackles and three pass deflections. Starting safety Glover Quin led the group in tackles with nine.

Special teams weren’t their best today, as punter Sam Martin punted the ball five times for 202 yards, with two landing inside the 20-yard line and a touchback. Matt Prater was 1/2 on field goals today, making one from 23 yards out and missing a 50 yarder. Ameer Abdullah had five kick returns for 114 yards.

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Week 16: What It Means

Head coach Jim Caldwell was already on the hot seat coming into 2017, and after a good start, the Lions announced that he signed an extension with the team. Weeks later with the team struggling, fans were chirping for Caldwell to get fired and wondering how long the extension is for. After this loss, Caldwell’s time in Detroit may be up

Week 16: What To Think About

The major team that the Lions had to worry about, the Atlanta Falcons, lost to the New Orleans Saints, which would have been great for the Lions if they won, but it doesn’t matter anymore. This team had their chance and they blew it.

Two big mistakes by the Lions cost them seven points as Matt Prater missed a 50-yard field goal, something that he has been able to do all season long. Then on the 3rd down pass to Golladay in the end zone, Stafford had a wide-open Tate for a touchdown, so they settle for a field goal. Those seven points would end up costing Detroit in the end.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.