The up and down 2017 season in Detroit resulted in a winning record but a fired coach. Here’s a look back at some of the highs and lows along the way.
Best: Matthew Stafford @ Baltimore
It’s surprising that the best individual performance of the season came during this train wreck of a game, but Stafford had an unconscious stretch against a very good passing defense.
From early in the second quarter until midway through the fourth, Stafford completed 20 passes in a row, a Lions record. He wasn’t getting much help in any other department though, and ended up leaving with an interception and an injury.
That shouldn’t take away from what was a fantastic individual effort.
Worst: Run defense @ Cincinnati
I’ll cheat a little bit on this one, because I couldn’t pinpoint any game where an individual player was truly awful. Considering the opponent and the stakes of the game though, the run defense against the Bengals was notably bad, and at the worst time.
With playoff hopes on the line against a weak team’s backup running back, giving up 116 yards and the dagger touchdown to Giovanni Bernard is a low point.
Can’t blame it on just one player though.
Best: Two-point conversion against Green Bay
Maybe the only reason this was ever called was because the game, season, and playoffs were over and out of reach. Either way, the reverse pass from Golden Tate to Matthew Stafford was a perfect way to cap off the season. If Jim Bob Cooter stays as offensive coordinator, I’m hoping he tries out creative calls like this one a little more often.
Worst: Red zone vs Pittsburgh
It’s difficult to gain nearly 500 yards without scoring a single touchdown, but the Lions pulled it off right before Halloween. When you reach the red zone five times, it seems like you’d cross the goal line at least once, even by accident. Exactly how many times do you need to send Dwayne Washington up the middle for no gain before you try something different?
They had no idea whether to run or pass, whether to kick a field goal or go for it. Of course they couldn’t run it in. This resulted in two trips to the 1 yard line that resulted in a total of three points. Might have been a nice time to call that reverse pass from Golden Tate to Matthew Stafford…just saying.