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O'HARA'S BURNING QUESTIONS: What led to Lions' loss in season opener?

Where do you look for the answers in a football game when your team looked like a winner for 57 of the 60 minutes?

Look no farther than here:

Burning questions in the Detroit Lions' stunning 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears in the opening game at Ford Field Sunday:

The bottom line: That is all that counts – the bottom line – in a game the Lions appeared to have won, and should have won with a 23-6 lead over the Bears going into the fourth quarter.

Instead, they crumbled defensively by giving up three touchdown passes to often maligned Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who beat them for the fourth straight time.

The Lions did a lot of good things to get what appeared to be a safe 17-point lead, but they did too many things wrong in the fourth quarter.

Most obvious, and most damaging, was an interception on a third-down pass meant for wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. that put the Bears in position to drive to the winning touchdown. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw into double coverage on a throw over the middle, and the deflection gave the Bears an easy interception.

A dropped pass in the end zone by rookie running back D’Andre Swift with six seconds left kept the Lions from making a miracle comeback.

Instead of a miracle, there was the reality that the Lions still lack the ability to close out games when they have the lead in the fourth quarter.

View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears Week 1 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 in Detroit

Strategy question: The decision to have Matt Prater attempt a 55-yard field goal with 4:08 left was questionable, with the Lions holding a 23-13 lead. The kick was wide right, giving the Bears possession with a short field to drive to the go-ahead touchdown.

Head coach Matt Patricia defended his decision, saying he has faith in Prater as a long-range kicker.

"I have all the confidence in the world in him," Patricia said. "I really do."

A punt would have made it a longer driver for the Bears. However, the way the Bears were moving the ball in the fourth quarter, it might not have made any difference.

Quiet zone: There were a lot of questions about the effect of playing Sunday's game without fans. As Stafford said, it was different in a lot of ways – even during the TV timeouts.

"They seemed to last forever," he said.

But to use them as a reason for the loss is a very long stretch. The Lions were 0-6 at Ford Field last year.

Adrian Peterson: The loss did not lessen what Peterson accomplished in his first game as a Lion, but it certainly took away the glow of what could have been one of the feel-good stories of Week 1.

Peterson had 13 carries for 93 yards, and three catches for 21 yards.

"I was ready," he said. "I was up to bat when I was needed. That's what I'm about."

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