With 2:24 to go in the game, Matthew Stafford connected with Golden Tate for his second touchdown of the game and gave the Lions a one point lead.
Behind in the fourth quarter again, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Stafford would lead the team to a game-winning drive. Tate received his first game ever of having two touchdowns and also 100 yards receiving.
The offense did what it needed to do, and their franchise quarterback delivered once again.
It was up to the defense to stop a Cowboys offense headed by Ezekiel Elliot from getting the lead back.
The defense ALMOST did it’s job.
Early in the drive, the Lions stripped Dak Prescott, only to watch Prescott pick up the ball and throw it away.
Prescott also threw a dangerous pass, where safety Glover Quin swatted the ball down. Signs were looking good, and the Lions were on their way to .500.
But Elliot had other things in mind.
On his way to 240 yards(!) from scrimmage, Elliot beat Jarrad Davis on a 34 yard wheel route putting the Cowboys in field goal distance.
And like that, the Lions touchdown to take the lead meant absolutely nothing. With only two timeouts left, the Cowboys were able to run the clock down to four seconds and kick the game-winning field goal.
Stafford ended the game 24/30 for 307 yards and two touchdowns. Tate led the receivers with eight receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
Rookie Kerryon Johnson continues to make fans question why he’s not seeing the field more. Averaging 6.1 yards/carry on nine attempts, Johnson finished with 55 yards rushing, including a highlight tape truck on safety Jeff Heath for a touchdown.
The running game wasn’t nearly as impressive as it was the previous week in a win against the New England Patriots. A week after having their first 100 yard rusher since 2013 in Johnson, said rusher only received nine attempts. The opening run of the game, Johnson broke loose for 32 yards and wasn’t seen much after that.
It has to be puzzling why Johnson isn’t getting more carries. Even on his low amount of rushes, he did as much as he could with the small amount of carries. Fellow back LeGarrette Blount had seven carries for 12 yards.
The offense wasn’t the reason this team lost, however. The offense made enough plays, literally the play to win the game. The defense failed the team this past week.
Elliot destroyed the Lions on the ground, averaging six yards a carry en route to 152 yards on the ground. Elliot also had four receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown.
Allowing Elliot to have over 200 yards from scrimmage is absolutely unacceptable. What’s even more unacceptable is putting known poor coverage linebacker, Davis, in man coverage on Elliot with the game on the line.
The Lions rush defense has been horrific, outside of the Patriots game. The Lions are last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, allowing a putrid 157.8 yards a game.
If the Lions want to turn this season around, this run defense has to improve.
Starting next week, against division rival Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.