| The Detroit News
Detroit Lions principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp signaled major shifts in the organization for 2021 and beyond when she fired general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia on Nov. 28. But in 2020, the Lions (4-7) still have five games left to play and aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
Enter interim head coach Darrell Bevell for the Lions’ Week 13 matchup in Chicago against the Bears (5-6). Detroit trails, 23-13 at halftime.
Here are some key takeaways from the first half of play:
►New coach, same big problem: Bevell certainly hasn’t fixed Detroit’s porous defense. The Bears moved the ball with relative ease in the first half, averaging 7.4 yards per play for 253 yards total. Chicago scored on its first three possessions for first time since 2018, Week 10 against, you guessed it, the Lions.
Chicago’s rushing attack was ranked last in the league in yards and touchdowns heading into the game, but so far it’s racked up 106 yards on a 5.6-yard average with three touchdowns.
►Cephus steps up: Detroit is still without top wideout Kenny Golladay due to a hip injury, but one of the players tasked with replacing him, rookie Quintez Cephus, made a big impact in the second quarter. Down by 10 points, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford launched a 49-yard prayer down the right sideline that Cephus reeled in while falling to the ground for his first career touchdown. The extra point drew the Lions within three, 16-13.
►Patterson shines in new role: Bears speedster Cordarrelle Patterson is mostly known as a return man, but in the first half he’s gotten things done as an option out of the backfield for Chicago’s offense. Patterson has seven carries for 41 yards, a 5.9-yard average with one touchdown.
►Orchard Lake St. Mary’s product victimizing Detroit: Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson is solidifying himself as one of the elite pass-catchers in the NFL. In the first half he didn’t take it easy on his hometown team, catching five balls for 71 yards.
►Bears take a rare lead: An opening-drive field goal for Chicago was notable because the Bears had not scored first in a game since Week 6. In the midst of a five-game losing streak, slow starts for Chicago have been a theme.
►Leaving points on the field: Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara saved Detroit a point when he blocked an extra-point attempt by Bears kicker Cairo Santos. It’s the first time since 2018 that Santos has missed an extra point.
After scoring a touchdown on the next drive, Lions kicker Matt Prater clanged his extra point attempt off the upright, leaving Detroit down three, 9-6.