The Detroit Lions nearly lost to the Chicago Bears back in Week 11, but a fourth quarter comeback kept that from happening. In Week 14, the Lions were not so lucky. They simply made too many mistakes to avoid a loss.
The Lions scored just 13 points last Sunday, and 114 of their 267 yards of offense came on their two touchdown drives. They went 6-for-15 on third down, and partially driven by game situation they went 1-for-5 on fourth down against a Chicago defense that has played a lot better lately.
Nine of those 15 third downs were eight yards-plus needed to move the chains, and in line with the last several weeks the Lions converted just one of those third-and-longs.
The Bears sacked Jared Goff four times and hit him nine times. Montez Sweat had one of the sacks, and four of the hits, on the Lions' signal caller.
Montez Sweat reveals troubling simple formula to stop the Lions, Jared Goff
Sweat spoke to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk after last Sunday's game. Asked how the Bears were able to hold a supposedly high-flying Lions' offense to 13 points, Sweat revealed a simple formula.
"We know they want to run the ball first,” Sweat said. “I mean, that’s really the first thing. We want to stop the run . . . [and] just really on third down, we don’t feel like a lot of teams can mess with us on third down.”
Was anything special done to get after Goff?
"I mean, we were just rushing him” Sweat said. “No QB likes to get hit. We tagged him a couple of times, man. We just finished up at the end. But, yeah, no QB likes to get hit and we just let him know we were there.”
Sweat essentially said the Bears wanted to get to third down against the Lions' offense. If they kept the run game contained, those situations would naturally be 3rd-and-long more often than not.
Florio summed up Sweat's sentiment nicely.
"Get to third down. Which could be a tactful way of saying, “If they have to rely on Jared Goff to move the chains, we’ll be fine.”
Putting an offense off-schedule is the obvious goal for a defense. But the Bears' plan to get that done against the Lions' offense, according to Sweat, was very elementary. Get to third down, then put it in Goff's hands to beat you with a lot of confidence he won't get it done. The Lions' remaining opponents have now seen the blueprint in full effect, fully exposing a struggling quarterback.
The Lions have stumbled lately, but you can get back on track with a guaranteed win this week against the Broncos at BetMGM! Just sign up and bet your first $10 or more on any wager backing Detroit vs. Denver. You'll instanlty win $200 in bonus bets, win or lose! Sign up with this limited-time offer from BetMGM today.