Harrington could only watch
All losses are tough, but this one by far was the toughest to swallow. The Detroit Lions blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead with just six minutes remaining and eventually lost in overtime to the Chicago Bears, 20-17. Lions' insider Mike Fowler reviews the Lions loss to the Chicago Bears.
(CHAMPAGNE, IL)-- All losses are tough, but this one by far was the toughest to swallow. The Detroit Lions blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead with just six minutes remaining and eventually lost in overtime to the Chicago Bears, 20-17.
All signs pointed to the Lions breaking their road losing streak and continuing the Bears eight game losing streak. Leading 17-7 in the fourth quarter, Detroit knocked Bears's starting quarterback Chris Chandler out of the game, forcing sore-armed Jim Miller into the contest. Miller promptly went three and out and the Bears got third stringer Henry Burris up.
But on the next possession, Miller summoned up the ability to throw the ball effectively and despite throwing the ball into coverage on several occasions, escaped when Detroit's Chris Claiborne, Andre Goodman, Eric Davis and others all failed to make the game clinching interception.
Instead, Miller led the Bears on an incredible 12-play, 91 yard drive hitting Dez White in the end zone from 23 yards out to get to within 17-14. With 2:33 remaining in the game, Detroit ran the ball three straight times, gaining just five yards and running only :26 seconds off the clock.
With a timeout and the two minute warning, Miller again drove the Bears deep into Lions territory, nearly getting the game winning touchdown in regulation before settling for the tie on a 22-yard Paul Edinger field goal.
Detroit could have put the game away when on 4th and 20, Miller tripped and fell to the turf, but no Lion could even touch Miller, who then got up and threw a 33-yard completion to Dez White who was left alone by safety Eric Davis.
With Chicago possessing all the momentum and Detroit's defense gassed, it appeared the Lions caught a break when they won the toss. Inexplicably, Mornhinweg chose to defend a goal and allowed Chicago to take the ball.
"The wind," explained Mornhinweg was the key factor in giving Chicago the ball. "I would do that again -- now, knowing the outcome I wouldn't -- but if it was a similar situation, I would do that again. I had a lot of confidence in our defense up to that point. Of course, you say they just scored on a two-minute drive, but I had a lot of confidence that we would get a stop."
Why Mornhinweg thought his defense could get a stop is anyone's guess, but Detroit has to be demoralized. This one was in the bag and the coaching staff let this one get away with ultra conservative play calling on both offense and defense.
"Coaches coach and players play," was all an angry Shaun Rogers would say after the game.
"This is a hard one. I don't even have the words to express the way I'm feeling right now," said James Stewart, who continues to be one of the lone bright spots. Stewart rushed for 82 yards on 22 carries against a tough Bear defense. "This is definitely a game we should have won."
"It [the game] should have never been in O.T. We should have won the game a long time ago and we didn't, so it doesn't even matter," said a disgusted Stewart.
The fact that Detroit faces a quick turnaround period to get ready for the annual Thanksgiving Day classic at Ford Field might be the only solace for the Lions. Instead of breaking a two-game losing streak and their road losing streak, they'll have to regroup quickly and get ready for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots to avoid a four game losing streak.