Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News offers quick observations from the Lions' 34-22 loss to the Bears on Sunday.
Trubisky terrorizes Lions' secondary
The Lions' secondary had a tall order in defending the heavily armed Chicago Bears without cornerback Darius Slay (knee). They did not rise to the occasion — nor did they come close to doing so.
Second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky carved up the Detroit defense, finishing 23-for-30 with 355 yards and three touchdowns. He especially dug the long ball, averaging 15.4 yards per completion and throwing touchdown passes of 36, 45 and 26 yards.
Deshawn Shead, who took over for Slay, got crossed up badly by Bears receivers at the line on several instances, including the 36-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson, who finished with 133 yards and two touchdowns, in the first quarter. Nevin Lawson got burned off the line on a slant route on Robinson's second touchdown and never recovered as the Bears receiver scampered all the way to the end zone. Anthony Miller broke through two Lion defenders who were confused about their assignments and caught a wide-open pass before dancing into the end zone on his 45-yard score.
The only good news for the Lions' secondary today was that they were spared from the presence of Teez Tabor, who barely saw the field at all.
A lot of bullets, but no targets
Detroit's offense has been in clear disarray since Matthew Stafford lost his favorite target, veteran slot receiver Golden Tate. But who could have predicted things would be this bad?
Stafford was sacked six times after going down 10 times last week in Minnesota. He finished 25-for-42 for 274 yards with two interceptions and two garbage-time touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount averaged 0.7 yards on six carries.
To make matters worse, with tight end Luke Willson already inactive with a shoulder injury, Marvin Jones, Jr. (knee) and Michael Roberts (shoulder) exited the game and did not return. While most of the blame will be attributed to Stafford for three consecutive weeks of shortcomings, the performance of the offensive line and his team's health did not set him up for success Sunday.
Golladay reemerges in passing game in homecoming
Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay returned to his hometown of Chicago Sunday, and the Lions returned to a game plan that got him involved in the passing game. Of course, all the aforementioned injuries probably had something to do with it, but he was the lone bright spot for Detroit's offense today, pulling in six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Golladay exceeded 50 receiving yards for the first five games of the season, and looked to be an emerging star in the Lions' already talented receiving corps. With Tate leaving the unit and Jones exiting Sunday's game, Golladay shouldered nearly all the workload and returned to his early season form. The plan to target him as such can be expected to continue going forward.
Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.