The Detroit Lions looked like they had taken command of the game when they left the field at halftime Sunday with a 13-10 lead over the Chicago Bears.
Two touchdowns in the last 6:59 of the half had given the Lions their lead. Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs scored on a 12-yard run for the first score, and quarterback Jared Goff hit wide receiver Josh Reynolds with an eight-yard pass with 26 seconds left in the half to put the Lions in the lead.
The fact that the Lions were receiving the second-half kickoff made it seem likely that the Lions would continue to roll in the second half.
They didn't. The offense stalled out in the second half. The Lions failed to gain a first down on four possessions in the third quarter, and they didn't score a point in the second half.
The Lions wound up with a 28-13 defeat that dropped their won-loss record to 9-4 with four games left in the regular season.
What we learned – again – is to never take anything for granted.
We also learned that what seemed like a routine penalty can play a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of a game.
We start with the Lions in the third quarter:
The Lions have had trouble all season scoring in the third quarter. Sunday's game was no exception. It was just an extreme example of that problem.
In four possessions the Lions ran 11 plays. They punted three times and lost the ball once on a fumble on second down.
The total yards gained by the Lions in the third quarter was 16.
While the Lions were struggling, the Bears kicked a field goal and scored a touchdown to take a 19-13 lead. They stretched it out with a TD and a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Harsh penalty: Sometimes a penalty costs more than the face value. That was the case for an offsides penalty in the third quarter against defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson.
The Bears faced fourth & 13 at their 38-yard line.
Hutchinson was flagged for being offsides. The Bears took advantage of a free play, meaning the least that could happen was to keep the ball with a five-yard gain.
It was a no-risk play for the Bears. Justin Fields hit D.J. Moore with a 38-yard pass for a touchdown. The Bears broke a 13-13 tie and took a 19-13 lead.