The Bears were driving for a go-ahead field goal late in last Thursday’s game against the Lions, but it looked like Detroit would get the ball back with a chance to win when they forced a 3rd-and-nine with 1:54 left to play in the game.
That wouldn’t come to pass, however. The Lions called two timeouts in a row, which cost them five yards for delay of game but, according to head coach Dan Campbell, was done to avoid giving up a touchdown. On the ensuing play, the Bears completed a seven-yard pass to wide receiver Damiere Byrd that allowed them to run the clock out before Cairo Santos‘ field goal put them up 16-14.
Lions defensive backs were playing well off the line on that play and the decision to play such a soft coverage led to criticism after the game. On Thursday, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn took the blame for that because “it is up to [coaches] to teach” young players like safety Will Harris what to do in those situations and that the staff failed to do that last week.
“I wish I would have told Will Harris to challenge in that situation,” Glenn said, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. “I should have told him that. But we called pressure and he was just playing off. Again, that’s what, his second time playing nickel a whole game? Sometimes we put so much blame on players, but man, listen, that guy is just now learning. I told him, ‘That wasn’t your fault, man, that was my fault. Because I put you in that situation as a new player playing that position.’ So I’ve got to make sure I help that player, as far as how to operate in those situations.”
The Lions have had several close shaves en route to their 0-10-1 record and the hope around the team has to be that the lessons learned in those games will pay off in a win one of these weeks.