Blough impressive in defeat in debut for Lions

Bears 24 Lions 20

DETROIT — David Blough gave this uninspiring Thanksgiving matchup a much-needed jolt.

That wasn’t enough for the Detroit Lions, who lost yet again despite a stirring debut from their third-string quarterback.

Blough settled in immediately, throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay on his second pass attempt, but the Lions ultimately fell one TD short in a 24-20 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday. Blough — pressed into action because of injuries to Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel — threw for 280 yards and two early touchdowns.

“I’ve been playing football my whole life. I think one of the coolest things honestly was the amount of support I have,” Blough said.” When everybody found out last night, it was just — I had to turn my phone off. There were guys — family, friends, everybody, teammates from the past — saying they believed in me.”

Stafford missed a fourth straight game with back and hip injuries, and Driskel was dealing with hamstring problems. So Blough, an undrafted rookie from Purdue, made his NFL debut. With the Bears also struggling this season, there was every reason to expect a Thanksgiving day dud in Detroit.

But Chicago drove for a quick touchdown to start the game, then Blough went to work. After throwing incomplete on his first attempt, Blough found Golladay alone behind the defence for the touchdown that tied it at 7.

“(Offensive co-ordinator) Darrell Bevell had a great idea to kind of pump it against a coverage that we expected to get,” Blough said. “Sometimes the stars just align, and he’s 10 yards open, and you can throw a lollipop to him and he can score.”

Blough also led a 78-yard drive on Detroit’s second possession, which ended when he threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Marvin Jones.

“I think you guys obviously got a glimpse of him, and what we’ve all seen every single day,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said. “His confidence, his ability to go out and compete, his focus, and how much he loves this game.”

The Lions led 17-7 late in the second quarter before the Bears rallied. It was 17-all when Blough directed a 15-play, 70-yard drive that took 8:57 off the clock, but Detroit had to settle for Matt Prater’s 24-yard field goal.

The Bears scored the winning touchdown with 2:17 remaining. Even after that. Blough and the Lions reached the Chicago 27. After a 1-yard completion, Blough threw incomplete and then was sacked, leaving Detroit facing fourth-and-22.

Blough’s deep pass under pressure was picked off by Eddie Jackson for the Detroit quarterback’s only interception of the game.

The Lions, who have lost eight of their past nine, have plenty of time before their next game, Dec. 8 at Minnesota. It’s not clear what the health of their other quarterbacks will be like then, but Blough may have done enough to earn another shot.

“I’m a pretty confident guy,” he said. “I know I can make all the throws. I know my coaches and teammates believe I can make all the throws.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
Gov’t reports two more COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer on Sunday

Nineteen new deaths, including two in Red Deer, were reported by the… Continue reading

Andre Lemus, the owner of Las Palmeras in Red Deer, says he hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted this upcoming Thursday. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer restaurant owner hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted Thursday

The owner of a Red Deer restaurant says business has “dropped” since… Continue reading

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A cat named Willow is shown in this recent handout photo. Victoria firefighter Capt. Tim Hanley says using a jackhammer and other home repair tools to save a cat stuck in a tiny basement drainpipe ranks as the strangest rescue call he's been on in his 20-year career. Hanley says he and three other firefighters spent more than two hours using sledgehammers and a jackhammer to break through Victoria homeowner Emma Hutchinson's concrete basement floor to free Willow, a nine-month-old kitten. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Twitter, City of Victoria
Victoria firefighters use homeowners’ jackhammer to rescue cat trapped in tiny pipe

VICTORIA — A Victoria firefighter says using a jackhammer and other home… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party: O’Toole

OTTAWA — Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says there is “no place… Continue reading

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage addresses the attendees while Tom Olsen, Managing Director of the Canadian Energy Centre, looks on at a press conference at SAIT in Calgary on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Fulmes
‘Morally and ethically wrong:’ Court to hear challenge to Alberta coal policy removal

First Nations, ranchers, municipal officials and environmentalists hope to persuade a judge… Continue reading

Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle arrives at Nova Scotia provincial court for a sentencing hearing in Halifax on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canada’s spy-catching system caused delay, angst in Delisle case: former FBI official

OTTAWA — The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s former head of counter-intelligence… Continue reading

People wait to be screened before entering Little Mountain Place, a long-term care home that has had 41 residents die since a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the facility in November in Vancouver on Sunday, January 3, 2021. Staff in long-term care homes across Canada are struggling to isolate elderly residents with dementia during COVID-19 outbreaks, accelerating the deadly spread of the virus, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Care home staff struggle to isolate dementia patients during outbreaks: experts

VANCOUVER — Staff in long-term care homes across Canada are struggling to… Continue reading

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what's fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) just misses the net against goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during  scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Jets return to practice a day after suspending workouts due to COVID concerns

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have returned to practice a day after… Continue reading

Most Read