The Detroit Lions Really Needed A Win In Dallas And Ultimately Came Up Just Short.
The Detroit Lions started with the ball today and were shut down on their first drive. Kerryon Johnson‘s 33-yard rush to start the game was put to waste as the team punted just short of field goal range on both of their first two drives. Dallas showed that they weren’t going to be relying on Dak off the bat as the Lions forced a three and out on three straight Ezekiel Elliott runs to start, but the Cowboys second drive resulted in three, thanks to a couple of big plays in the passing game. The Lions were able to escape with a 7-3 first quarter thanks to a long pass from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate.
Dallas worked their way down the field to start the second quarter and settled for three. Darius Slay made some excellent plays to help stall out the Cowboys drive. The Lions had a solid drive going but a false start by Taylor Decker in the red zone stalled them out and Matt Prater hit a field goal to put the Lions up 10-6. Dallas was the beneficiary of a debatable personal foul on Lions DE Romeo Okwara on their next drive. Immediately after that play, Prescott hit Elliott for a long screen pass TD to put Dallas up 13-10. They took that three-point lead into the intermission.
The Detroit Lions needed a stop coming out to start the second half and did an excellent job of bending and not breaking. Dallas drove down inside the 30-yard line of Detroit only to have a block in the back and a sack keep them from scoring on the opening drive of the half. The Lions first drive of the half did not go as planned. Stafford was sacked on third down and Detroit was unable to manage a single first down. The Cowboys went right down the field and a one-yard pass from Prescott to Swaim put them up 20-10. Detroit had no answer for Elliott through three quarters.
The Lions had some momentum coming out of the third quarter and were able to turn that into points early in the fourth. Johnson got the first rushing touchdown of his career and the first rushing touchdown for the Lions this season. That score made it a 17-20 game. Eli Harold committed a huge offside penalty on the Cowboys next drive, which prevented a punting situation and allowed Dallas to get in scoring range. It took a big stop for the Lions, but they were able to hold Dallas to three in a goal to go situation making it 23-17 Dallas with 5:49 to go. The Lions were able to move down the field on the ensuing drive and two long catches to Tate resulted and six points and 24-23 lead for Lions with 2:17. Unfortunately, Detroit scored too fast and a long pass to Elliott set up a 37-yard game winning field goal by Brett Maher.
Elliott was able to dominate the game whenever he was on the field. I wouldn’t consider a good performance by Zeke to be a surprise, but with him being the only real option on the Cowboys offense, It’s a surprise that head coach Matt Patricia was not able to scheme up a defense to limit Elliott more.
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