By squandering a 14-3 first-half lead, the Lions dropped their fourth straight game where they had a double-digit lead — the first team in NFL history to accomplish such a feat, according to Elias.
It also was the seventh blown double-digit lead under third-year coach Matt Patricia, which is the most in the NFL since the start of 2018.
That started against Denver in Week 16 of the 2019 season, when the Lions blew a 10-point lead to lose 27-17. The next week, against Green Bay, the Lions led 14-0 before falling 23-20. In the season opener last week, Detroit led 23-6 in the fourth quarter before losing 27-23.
Then came Sunday, when Detroit allowed 31 straight points after Marvin Jones’ 4-yard touchdown reception from Matthew Stafford with four seconds left in the first quarter gave the Lions a 14-3 lead.
Detroit also fell to 7-7-1 when leading by double digits under Patricia, making the Lions the only team in the NFL without a winning record while holding double-digit leads over the past three years.
Detroit’s undoing against the Packers came largely because of mistakes at the end of the first half, including three costly penalties (two from safety Will Harris and one from left guard Oday Aboushi), another by Aboushi that was declined but stopped the clock and a bad decision to take a sack deep in Detroit territory.
That helped take the Lions’ 11-point lead and turn it into a 17-14 Green Bay advantage at halftime the Packers would not relinquish. It’s also Detroit’s 11th straight loss — its most since the club lost 19 straight games from 2007 to 2009, which including the first-ever 0-16 season in league history.
On Monday, a day after the team’s 10th straight defeat, Patricia was asked how they avoid a mentality of here-we-go-again if they start to lose a lead. Patricia tried to separate what happened in 2019, when the Lions lost their last nine games, from the start of this season.
“There’s a lot of guys here who are in key roles that were not part of last year’s team, so they certainly don’t have that mentality at all,” Patricia said. “For us, we actually have to make sure it doesn’t creep in. Sometimes maybe you hear it too much from the outside world, then you start to think, ‘Is that the case?’ But it’s not the case for us inside.
“So right now for us, we have to make sure we understand it was Week 1 and we got to improve Week 2.”
On Sunday, Detroit replicated what it had done so often under Patricia.