The Detroit Lions suffered another self-inflicted loss on Thursday by taking 10 penalties in a 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving.
After the game, Lions quarterback Jared Goff took issue with the amount of holding penalties imposed on the Lions.
“The false starts are definitely for us,” said Goff. “That can’t happen, but you can hold every play. It’s not an excuse. We’ve done it too much and I know those guys are hard on themselves, but behind that they can throw that flag on every play.” To me, it seemed like it was a little too common on that phone call.”
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The Lions were flagged six times for offensive holding on Thursday and were penalized twice in three consecutive games.
Leading 7-3 and in field in-goal in the second quarter, TJ Hockenson was flagged for a false start on the first and 10 of the Chicago 29-yard line. Center Evan Brown was called to hold the next game, and Jamaal Williams followed with a false start, leaving the Lions a first and 30 of the Chicago 49.
Goff pitched for a short win to Williams on the next play, Williams was stopped for a 6-yard loss on a swing pass in second place, and after a short run at third-and-32, the Lions kicked the ball away.
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The Bears scored two plays later to take a 10-7 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Evan Brown was flagged for a false start on the second and 7th of the Lions’ 47-yard line. Tommy Kraemer, who started his first career at right guard instead of Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and Taylor Decker were awarded penalties on the next two plays, and the Lions kicked on the fourth and 25, never to see the ball again.
The Bears ran the last 8 minutes and 30 seconds off the clock, kicking the winning field goal as time went on.
Goff said the Lions put themselves in bad positions with false starts, but said “the frequency of (the calls) is not fair in my opinion.”
The Bears (4-7) were flagged twice for offensive hold and given a third penalty on special teams.
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“I can’t say I was part of it, but they called them and that’s what matters,” Decker said. “They called it on both teams, on both sides of the ball. It’s just what it is. If they interpret it a certain way and they call it, like, we held on. It is what it is. It got us killed, it was murderer.”
Decker and Kraemer were awarded two penalties each, while Brown and Penei Sewell were awarded one each.
“It’s a concern because those things get you beat,” said Lions coach Dan Campbell. “So it’s something that we definitely need to keep tackling because we can’t overcome some of these things if we don’t. I’m not worried. It sure annoys and frustrates me, but I’m not worried like, ‘Oh no, what are they doing?’ We coach them and we have to make them better and we will.”
Campbell said he was pleased with Goff’s play Thursday on his return from a strained oblique.
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Goff completed 21 of 25 passes for 171 yards. He completed 12 straight passes to start the game and made touchdowns from 39 and 17 yards to Josh Reynolds and TJ Hockenson.
“He made some good throws,” Campbell said. “The first drive, you come out and he hit the deep one to Reynolds, that was good. He did some good things. He made a few throws.”
Goff said he felt “sometimes discomfort” in his side, “but nothing significant.”
Contact Dave Birkett at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.