Storybooks can always have storybook endings.
That’s not the case with pro football.
That’s one of the things we learned in the Detroit Lions’ 24-20 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day in a game that featured rookie quarterback David Blough’s first NFL start.
Among the other things we learned include the following: Regardless of how the game finished, Blough is likely to get another start as long as Matthew Stafford remains out with hip and back injuries; rookie running back Bo Scarbrough took another step toward proving he is not a one-game wonder – or even a two-game wonder --and the fans can make their voices heard with their actions.
We start with David Blough’s performance:
Blough had a storybook start. On the third play of the game and his second pass, he hit wide receiver Kenny Golladay with a 75-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-7. The Bears had scored on their first possession.
It was a three-play possession – a run by Scarbrough on first down, an incomplete pass on second down when Blough threw the ball well short of tight end T.J. Hockenson and the bomb to Golladay.
Blough had to work harder on his second TD pass. It capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended in an eight-yard TD pass to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr.
Two possessions. Two TD passes for a 14-7 Lions lead.
It was the ultimate Blough storybook beginning, and it was better than fiction, having been been scripted in real NFL time by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
“We had a great plan going into the game, and to take our shots,” Blough said after the game. “We were hoping they would think a guy like me would come in, throw some check downs, and so we were going to throw it around a little bit. Credit that to Darrell Bevell.”
And credit to Blough, of course, for executing the plan.
However, things tightened up after that. The Lions’ offense stalled out, managing only two field goals the rest of the way.
Actually, the ending was a repeat of what we’ve seen often this season. The Bears scored the winning TD with 2:17 left, then snuffed out the Lions’ last chance with an interception with 36 seconds left on a desperation heave by Blough on a fourth and 22.
It was not a storybook ending, but it was a memorable day and another installment in the Thanksgiving Day tradition.
Bo Scarbrough: We’ve already learned that he’s a three-game wonder.
After rushing for 55 and 98 yards in his first two games, the third game in the rematch with the Bears was another charm – 83 yards on 21 carries.
Scarbrough has played about half the snaps, and he’s been more than a short-yardage specialist.
We could be learning soon that Scarbrough’s the real thing to handle a key role in the Lions’ running back corps.
The fans: Metro Detroit fans aren’t going to be persuaded by anybody to attend or skip any entertainment event -- sports events, rock concerts, movies, festivals or political speeches.
It’s fair commentary in the media to express opinions, even ones that have been recycled through the decades.
It’s also fair to ignore them, and Detroit fans have always made up their minds on where they’re going – and where they’re not going.
The fact that the Bears-Lions game drew a crowd of 65,412 – second largest of the season by a couple hundred – showed again that they go where they want to go. That’s no surprise.