In Depth Game Review: Detroit Lions At Dallas Cowboys

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For The Second Time In Three Weeks, The Detroit Lions Late Comeback Attempt Fell Short. 

First Quarter

The Detroit Lions started this game with the ball but were unable to gain a second first down after rookie Kerryon Johnson ran for 32 yards on the first play. Dallas went three and out on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to Detroit. The Lions were again unable to advance the ball and punted it back to the Cowboys.

A deep 37-yard pass from QB Dak Prescott to rookie wideout Michael Gallup put Dallas in position to kick a field goal, taking the first lead of the game.

The Lions answered with a very strong possession, converting a 3rd and 15, 3rd and 3 and then another 3rd and 3 when Matthew Stafford found Golden Tate for a 45-yard touchdown pass.

Score: Lions lead 7-3

Second Quarter

Dallas opened up the second with a long 12-play drive. They finally stalled at the Detroit 25 when Prescott threw an incomplete pass, Dallas was forced to settle for another field goal.

Detroit one-upped Dallas the next time they got the ball with a 13-play drive of their own. The key play was a 33-yard pass from Stafford to Marvin Jones to get a first down out of a 2nd and 22. The Lions offense ground to a halt in the red zone though and had to kick a field goal.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott quickly led Dallas into the end zone to answer, rushing for 19 yards and then taking a screen pass 38 yards into the end zone.

Score: Cowboys lead 13-10

Third Quarter

Elliott led the Cowboys to another touchdown in the third quarter with a 41-yard rush, followed up by another 9-yard carry. This set up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Geoff Swaim.

Score: Cowboys lead 20-10

Fourth Quarter

Detroit got right back into it on their first possession of the final quarter with a 17-yard pass to Marvin Jones, then two 22 yard receptions from Kenny Golladay. Johnson scored his first career touchdown on a 9-yard run to cap off the drive.

Dallas responded with a 16-play drive to eat up almost the entire fourth quarter. They took 8:31 off the clock, but the Lion defense made a goal-line stand, forcing them to settle for a field and six-point lead.

The Lions offense came out on fire, so on fire that they scored way to quickly. Golden Tate made a 35-yard reception, then just two plays later caught a 38-yard touchdown to put the Lions up with over two minutes in the game.

Dallas was easily able to get into field goal range after a 34-yard pass from Prescott to Elliott, and kicker Brett Maher sent a game-winning 38-yard field goal through the uprights with no time left.

Score: Cowboys win 26-24

Key Stats

The Cowboys ran for 183 yards at 5.2 yards per carry

Detroit came into the game with the 32nd ranked rush defense in the NFL, and continued to be dominated in that area. The Lions run defense just continues to work worse and worse each week. If coach Matt Patricia doesn’t address this the Lions will not win many games this year.

Dak Prescott threw for +200 yards for the first time in his last six games

While he wasn’t dominant, Prescott played his best game since last season. When the game was on the line at the end, he was easily able to pass Dallas down the field to a game-winning field goal. Outside of Darius Slay, the Lions secondary and pass rush were awful.

In the second half, Matthew Stafford went 9/9 for 151 yards and a touchdown

Stafford played one of his best games in recent memory, and possibly the best second half of his career. He was flawless in the third and fourth quarters, and his defense truly let him down in this one.

Detroit committed eight penalties, Dallas just two

Detroit committed four times the penalties Dallas did, and several of them were very questionable. Still, at the end of the day, Detroit needs to be more disciplined in their play.

Plays Of The Game

Golden Tate’s 45-yard touchdown

Ezekiel Elliott’s 38-yard touchdown

Golden Tate’s 38-yard touchdown

Ezekiel Elliott’s 34-yard reception

Lions Player Of The Game

Golden Tate was this week’s Lions player of the game. He finished the day with 8 receptions (on 8 targets) for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a go-ahead touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game.

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Tate is off to a fantastic start in the last year of his contract. He leads the team with 28 receptions for 389 yards and 3 touchdowns. That is on pace for 112 catches, 1556 yards, and 12 touchdowns. If his production is anywhere near that at the end of the season, he will be looking at a massive contract next offseason.

Thanks for reading! For more Lions content, follow me on Twitter @Lucas_Walker00 and don’t forget to pay a visit to the Detroit Lions Subreddit!


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