Commentary: Lions' win over Bears 'Bizarro World'

Commentary: Lions' win over Bears 'Bizarro World'
Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 07, 2020

(WXYZ) -- Welcome to the Detroit Lions’ version of Bizarro World.

A place where the other team’s quarterback fumbles the ball with the game on the line.

Where long fourth-quarter drives look easy.

And where the Lions win 34-30 when the opposition has a fourth-quarter meltdown.

“It was a crazy, amazing week,” said interim Lions coach Darrell Bevell after the game. “I can’t even think straight. I am trying to wrap my emotions around this whole thing.”

Yes, the Bears (5-7) had lost five straight games but Sunday’s defeat was very, shall we say, "Lions-esque." And the fact that the Bears were at home makes the win sweeter for the Lions. Yes, the Lions, who have a winning record (4-3) on the road this season.

Strange days indeed.

This game had all the appearances of a regular-season road loss. Trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, Matthew Stafford threw an interception. Sounds like the Lions right? Granted, Bears nose tackle Bilal Nichols made a nifty one-handed catch on a poorly thrown screen pass.

“I thought the worst-case scenario he bats it down,” said Stafford.

The Bears took over on the Lions 46-yard line with 9:23 left. The Detroit defense held and got the ball back after the Bears punted. The next time Stafford dropped back to pass he was in the Lions’ end zone. Great comebacks don’t usually start this way.

“I knew we had to score and the quicker the better,” said Stafford.

Stafford has led the Lions on 31 fourth-quarter comebacks according to Pro Football Reference. He drove the offense 96 yards, their longest drive of the season. Marvin Jones, Jr. capped it off when he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass after slipping behind the Bears defense. The ball was thrown perfectly and Jones made an easy catch.

“I perform best when you really got to have it," said Jones Jr.

But there was still the matter of the Bears taking possession with 2:18 left and having a three-point lead. Lions fans know all about a fourth-quarter meltdown. What they look like. How one bad play can lead to disaster with losing repercussions.

Facing a third down and four, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky dropped back to pass with less than two minutes to play. Defensive end Romeo Okwara lunged in a Superman-like pose and forced Trubisky to fumble. The ball bounced around the players' feet until the Lions recovered it. Two plays later Adrian Peterson gave Lions their first lead of the game with a five-yard touchdown run.

The meltdown was complete. This time it wasn’t the Lions but rather the Bears. After the game, Stafford awarded the game ball Bevell. In Bizarro World a guy who didn’t take a snap gets the game ball. Both Okwara and Jones said Bevell had the right message to the team.

“(Bevell) let us go, worry about the mistakes later,” Okwara said. “We were able to play free and not worry about it.”

Jones was a bit more dramatic.

“He told us ‘I want you guys to show up and be you’” Jones said. “That’s going to make you guys play with your hair on fire!”