At one point on Sunday during the FOX broadcast from Philadelphia during the Detroit Lions matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the sideline reporters said that there was eight inches of snow on the ground. With the heavy snow, that made for some sometimes sloppy, but entertaining NFL action in week 14 between these two teams.
Without the snow, this matchup more than likely would have been an offensive shootout between two of the league’s most explosive units. With the snow, though, this game sat at only 14-6 in favor of Detroit heading into the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter held completely different results, though, in terms of scoring and who the scoring was in favor of.
The Lions’ defense, who had capitalized on the snowy and sloppy environment all afternoon, fell apart in the fourth quarter. Most notably, the Lions let running back LeSean McCoy absolutely run wild on them in the final period.
Obviously McCoy is one of the best running backs in the league this season, but for the third-ranked rushing defense in the league in Detroit to give up 217 yards rushing and two touchdowns, both of over 40 yards, to McCoy certainly says just as much about Detroit than it does McCoy.
In essence, this game really served as a microcosm of Detroit’s season as a whole. Sure, you could make some metaphor about the snow messing up vision or whatever, but that’s not what I’m talking about. In this game, Detroit had clear control, similar to how they controlled their fate in the division race. When things were on the line in both instances, though, the team has faltered.
With the Chicago Bears, who sit just a half-game behind the Lions in the NFC North, still to play on Monday night, the Lions’ fate this season is no longer in their control. What’s clear, though, is that the Lions are going to have to be much more consistent and, if they have the chance, they have to finish strong when it counts later in the year.