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Jarrad Davis Shoulders Blame For "Boneheaded Mistake" Late In Loss To Bills

"It's not his fault at all," said Damon Harrison.

December 17, 2018 - 9:15 am

Down by one with time winding down Sunday in Buffalo, all the Lions defense wanted to do was get the ball back to Matthew Stafford. They appeared to have done so with a stop on third-and-7 near midfield with two minutes remaining. 

But an offsides penalty on Jarrad Davis gave the Bills another chance, and two plays later they converted the first down to seal a 14-13 win. 

Davis, who otherwise had a strong performance with a game-high nine tackles, shouldered much of the blame for the loss afterward.

"Just because I feel like at the end of the day, you can't jump offsides. That's a boneheaded mistake," he told reporters. 

His penalty was the product of quarterback Josh Allen's pre-snap cadence, Davis said. 

"Just a soft cadence. He did a good job with his cadence, and like I said, I just lost focus on the ball. Looked out, and coming back in, just didn’t look at the ball.”

The next play saw the Bills run within inches of the first down, setting up fourth-and-1 at the Lions' 41-yard line. Allen ran a sneak over the middle for an easy conversion, then took a couple knees to run out the clock. 

That meant the Lions had two chances to make up for Davis' penalty, not that Davis was looking at it that way afterward. 

"There's definitely other plays that follow it, but it's a situation where they have to get (seven) yards to get a first down, now they only have to get one yard or two yards. So to lose our opportunity, to miss that chance, it hurt the team," Davis said. 

His teammates quickly came to his defense, most notably defensive tackle Damon Harrison who took the blame for Allen's successful dive over the middle. 

"It's not his fault at all. We had an opportunity to get the offense the ball back. They ran the QB sneak, I was right there up the middle and I didn't get it done," Harrison said. "No matter the circumstance, in a situation like that I would hope I would be at the point of attack because I feel like I can make the play. And I didn't. They got the first down. 

"That absolutely has nothing to do with JD or anybody else. That's solely on my shoulders." 

Harrison said the Bills snapped the ball before the Lions could get set. 

"We were going to get a move call, they caught us in the middle of the move," he said. "Still, I didn't get low enough." 

Devon Kennard likewise voiced his support for Davis, telling the second-year linebacker to "keep his head up." 

"He's been playing his butt off all season. He's a vocal leader on the defense, he's calling everything, JD's playing great ball right now. He's human. I'm sure he wishes he could get that back, but you gotta brush that off and get ready for next week," Kennard said. "He'll be fine." 

Asked how he flushes Sunday's loss -- and his crucial error -- out of his system, Davis said, "Watch the tape and move on to the next game. Can't dwell on this. Got two more opportunities, no point in hanging my head on a game that happened like this."