Clearly the crazy snow was the story in the Detroit Lions‘ game against the Philadelphia Eagles, with a reported eight inches on the field by the fourth quarter. As far as things the Lions could control, they played a good first half, using good running, the sure-handed Calvin Johnson, and decent secondary play. However, despite Jeremy Ross bringing Christmas early for the Lions with two amazing returns for touchdowns, they could not avoid shooting themselves in the foot again.
With Reggie Bush getting injured in the pregame after slipping in the snow, of course, the Lions really needed to rely on their young running backs Joique Bell and Theo Riddick. Bell has proven that he can carry the load with several impressive runs, both long and short, this season. Riddick provided some good support in the run game, especially in picking up a first down on two runs through the inside. That beings said, Bush was severely missed. The Eagles’ LeSean McCoy ran all over the Lions’ defense, which could have been partially due to the snow. McCoy broke the record for most rushing yards in a game, in the snow. Imagine what could have been for Bush.
Then there was Ross, who was the first player to return a punt and a kick for touchdowns since 1977. He even made an outstanding tackle on special teams. Outside of the snow, Ross’ great play, and McCoy’s dominance, the story was still the Lions making boneheaded mistakes.
More than a handful of defensive penalties haunted the Lions on key drives that lead to scores for the Eagles. The defense did get scrooged a bit by some phantom calls, but there were just too many penalties overall. The offense contributed some massive mistakes as well. Dominic Raiola got a penalty for being an ineligible receiver down the field that brought back a key first down. Then, a theme that continued throughout the game, Stafford and Raiola fumbled the snap and Stafford failed to fall on the ball to recover. That gave the Eagles the ball on a drive in the fourth quarter that could have led to a key touchdown for the Lions and possibly changed the outcome of the game.
Look, there’s no question that the snow was tough to deal with, but it just showed how important dumb mistakes can be when everything is heightened — you know, like in the playoffs, which the Lions will be lucky to make if they continue to make these mistakes.