The Detroit Lions have finished off a disappointing 2019 season, and though the team finished 3-12-1, things could have turned out a lot different for the squad all things considered.
There were multiple moments that the team could have seen a reversal of fortune in either way. Any one of these moments could have changed the complexion of the year for the team, and helped determine what happened in the end to the Lions.
Here’s a look at the moments which changed the Detroit season, mostly for worse.
Lions at Packers: Illegal Hands to the Face
This is the moment where Detroit’s season turned. The Lions appeared to have the Packers stopped a couple straight times in the fourth quarter, but two questionable calls on Trey Flowers stemmed the tide of any momentum the team could have created. As a direct result, the Lions managed to lose to the Packers and turn the season in the wrong direction. A victory here would have changed the complexion of things in the NFC North. Instead, the Packers remained in control and would later win the division. The Lions merely felt they were cursed again.
Lions vs. Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes Scrambles on Fourth Down
Detroit seemed like they were on the verge of a huge upset and a program defining win for Matt Patricia against the Chiefs, and it came down to a fourth down play. The Lions had it defended well, but didn’t have a spy on Mahomes, who was able to run for the first down, and would later lead the team into the end zone to pull out the late win against the Lions. With a win there, the Lions would have continued their excellent start on the season, and would have had a solid record in the first few weeks. The loss left the Lions feeling defeated even in spite of how well they played. It was another game they didn’t finish against excellent competition.
Lions at Cardinals: Kyler Murray Throws Tying Touchdown Late
The Lions were in control of the game against the Cardinals in Week 1, leading 24-9 at one point in the second half. What took place next was a meltdown of epic proportions. The team surrendered score after score, culminating in Murray, a rookie quarterback, making the game tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The game would go to overtime, and the teams would end in a tie. For the Lions, it was the beginning of their inability to finish in 2019. A win could have jump-started the season. A loss now combined with another could have vaulted the Lions up as a higher draft pick. Safe to say this one turned the whole season right off the bat.
Lions at Raiders: Matthew Stafford Injury
The Lions were an average team still remaining in the hunt before Stafford got hurt. After the quarterback was out, they were transformed into one of the worst teams in football overnight. Safe to say the hit Stafford sustained in this game, which culminated in him missing the next week and the rest of the year, changed Detroit’s season. When Stafford was forced to miss time down the stretch, that tanked the season for the Lions in perhaps the biggest way possible.
Lions vs. Giants, Detroit’s Last Victory
The Lions pulled out a close game against the Giants in what ended up being their last victory of the season. Detroit had to stave off a very tough Giants team in order to net a third win of the season. Little did the Lions know that everything would change after this day. That win was the difference in the Lions not being able to crack a higher draft pick. It was impossible to know that at the time, but a loss to the Giants on this day could have helped the Lions down the stretch have a better shot at landing Chase Young.
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