Cornerback Jeff Okudah made a clutch play in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and also ended a very long Detroit Lions drought without a defensive touchdown.
The Detroit Lions defense has not be great this season, but it has been a pretty good campaign for third-year cornerback Jeff Okudah. The third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has been healthy, he has flashed chops as a lockdown cover corner and he has shown himself as a very good run defender.
One thing Okudah didn’t have this season entering Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears was an interception. In the fourth quarter, after running back D’Andre Swift scored a touchdown to cut the margin to 24-17 for the Lions, the Detroit defense made a play to keep the momentum going.
It started with great pressure on Justin Fields, leading to a throw the Bears quarterback really shouldn’t have attempted. Okudah finished it.
Jeff Okudah scores Detroit Lions’ first defensive touchdown in quite some time
It was surely sweet for Okudah to pick-off his former Ohio State teammate Fields. Scoring made it doubly sweet. Okudah also ended a long Lions’ drought without a defensive touchdown, which isn’t too surprising to know. But the number of games was pretty astounding.
As ESPN’s Eric Woodyard noted, the last defensive touchdown for the Lions was Week 8 of the 2019 season against the New York Giants. That was a 13-yard fumble return by Devon Kinnard. It had been 50 games, the longest active streak in the leagye without a defensive score and twice as long as anyone else.
It’s been rare for the Lions’ defense to get takeaways in recent years, though that’s been improving in recent weeks this season. It had been a long time since they scored on one, but Okudah made a play that proved critical as the Lions eked out their second straight win.