Here are reactions to notable moments during Sunday’s Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals game, compiled by Eric Coughlin of The Detroit News.
Lions playoff hopes end in Cincinnati
The Lions are unoriginal gift-givers.
This Christmas Eve, Lions fans unwrapped yet another disappointment in the form of a 26-17 loss to a 6-9 Bengals team, ending Detroit's playoff chances.
The Lions (8-7) played well enough early, holding a one-point lead at halftime, but the defense crumbled after the break, allowing 20 second half points.
The offense was uninspiring all game, only mustering 276 total yards and 15 first downs. Matthew Stafford went 19-for-35 passing for 203 yards, including one touchdown and one interception while the run game continued to be anemic: Tion Green was Detroit's leading rusher with 43 yards.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that had the Lions won, their playoff hopes would still be alive as the Atlanta Falcons lost today, 23-13, to the New Orleans Saints.
The game might have been the last home game for Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who is rumored not to be returning for next season.
Final: Bengals 26, Lions 17
This was the dagger. Giovani Bernard put the Bengals up 26-17 with time winding down in the fourth quarter.
This fourth quarter play wasn't reviewed, but the Lions were down by two after a Randy Bullock field goal, and it ended up being their last chance to mount a game-winning drive.
Tion Green found pay dirt to put the Lions back in the lead, 17-16, in the fourth quarter. It was Detroit's first fourth quarter rushing touchdown in two years.
Andy Dalton found tight end C.J. Uzomah for this third quarter touchdown that gave the Bengals a 13-10 lead. It was only Uzomah's second career touchdown. At this point, the Saints were beating the Falcons 20-3.
This spectacular catch from former Bengal Marvin Jones led to a Matt Prater field goal to increase the Lions lead to 10-6 in the third quarter. Jones is averaging 86.6 receiving yards over the last five games, including several impressive grabs like this one over former Michigan State defensive back Darqueze Dennard.
Halftime: Lions 7, Bengals 6
The first half ended with the Lions up, 7-6, and the Falcons down, 13-0, but Detroit fans were left wanting more, especially on offense:
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton looped this pass right into the waiting hands of Lions safety Quandre Diggs. It was Diggs' third interception in as many weeks at safety.
Stafford hooked up with Ebron to make it 7-0 in the first quarter. Ebron has had somewhat of a career surge over the last eight games, averaging 47.5 reception yards per game.
As play began at Paul Brown Stadium, the playoff scenario was fairly simple for the Lions: Win their final two games and hope the Atlanta Falcons lose their final two.