TWENTYMAN: Big plays hurting the Lions once again

Posted Oct 20, 2013

Though the Lions have seemingly outplayed the Bengals in every area, they trail at the half after an 82-yard touchdown to AJ Green

Pettigrew and BushRB Reggie Bush celebrates with TE Brandon Pettigrew after his first TD of the year. (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

The Lions have outplayed the Bengals for most of the first 30 minutes of today's game, but their 14-10 deficit at the half surely doesn't indicate that.

The Lions ran 47 plays to the Bengals' 21 in the first half and won the time of possession battle by a margin of 21:58 to 8:02.

But the big play has cost them.

An 82-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green and a blocked field goal late in the second half have helped the Bengals to the lead.

Green had 122 receiving yards on the Bengals' first eight plays of the game and has 135 for the half.

His touchdown catch was the longest of his career and exactly the kind of play that Lions cornerback Chris Houston said this week he couldn't give up.

Houston knew the Bengals liked to push the ball down the outside part of the field. Cincinnati did, in fact, utilize a lot of double moves with their All Pro receiver to get him open.

Houston fell for the old out-and-up move and Green had a free run to the end zone.

Later in the game, Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap came right through the middle of the Lions line to block a 34-yard David Akers field goal attempt. The block set up a late Dalton-to-Marvin Jones touchdown with 41 second left.

Big plays have been a big problem for the Lions all season. The defense has now given up five passes of 40-plus yards and four runs of 40-plus yards.

They've also muffed a snap on a field goal and have had one blocked.

If they just keep everything in front of them on defense and play fundamentally sound on special teams, they should be okay in the second half.