With the Detroit Lions surprising loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the hopes for a Motor City return to the postseason are dashed.
For the Detroit Lions, Sunday’s matchup with the struggling Cincinnati Bengals was a playoff game. For another crack at the postseason, the Lions needed to pull out a victory in Cincinnati. Instead, Detroit’s hopes for a playoff berth this season were dashed in a 26-17 defeat.
After a hot start to the season, where the Lions began the year winning three out of their first four matchups, the team cooled off losing every game between Weeks Five and Eight. Their roller coaster of a season continued winning three straight games and then losing three out of their last five.
It’s a sad conclusion for what has been a solid year for quarterback Matthew Stafford. After completing 75% of his passes in his previous three starts, against the Bengals, Stafford completed only 19 of his 35 passes (54.2%) for 203 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Although the Lions rushing attack showed signs of life as rookie running back Tion Green racked up 43 yards and a score on seven carries, it was a case of too little, too late. Ameer Abdullah continued his disappointing stint at running back in Detroit, rushing for 21 yards on only six carries. Veteran back Theo Riddick rushed for 16 yards on eight carries along with three receptions for 23 yards.
Once again leading the way as a receiver was tight end Eric Ebron. The former first round selection is starting to live up to his lofty draft status. In Cincinnati, Ebron posted five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. had three receptions for 50 yards.
Defensively, defensive end Ziggy Ansah showed up big, recording seven total tackles and a whopping 3.0 sacks. Safety Glover Quin, who was recently a Pro Bowl snub, and linebacker Tahir Whitehead racked up a team-high nine total tackles each. And safety-turned-cornerback Quandre Diggs posted his third straight game with an interception.
Out of playoff contention, the Detroit Lions final game of the regular season will be a meaningless matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, December 31st at Ford Field, with kick off scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EST.