David Blough reflected on a "special" NFL debut after the undrafted rookie impressed for the Detroit Lions in their narrow 24-20 Thanksgiving Day defeat to the Chicago Bears.
The Lions confirmed on Wednesday that Blough – who was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in May before being traded to Detroit – would be making his maiden start due to injuries to first-choice and back-up quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel.
Blough's bow was one to remember, with the 24-year-old's first pass completion leading to a 75-yard touchdown for Kenny Golladay.
Another pass to Marvin Jones Jr resulted in the Lions' second touchdown, as they took 17-7 lead, but a late charge from the Bears saw Chicago come out on top on Thursday.
Detroit (3-8-1) have now lost five games in a row, but there was plenty of positivity regarding Blough's display on his first career start.
"Going into it I felt comfortable, prepared and we had a great plan to go into the game and take our shots," Blough told a news conference at Ford Field.
"It wasn't until last night that I was told I was a starter, then the Lions announced it and all those things. I was ready to go, prepare every week to play on the field.
"It just so happened it was done on a short week, Matthews being out, just a couple of different twists and turns but they told me last night and I was pretty excited.
Happy Thanksgiving, Detroit! pic.twitter.com/jnotIepBys— Ford Field (@fordfield) November 28, 2019
"This is what you dream about as a kid, I’m thankful for it all, the ups and downs.
"I knew I wasn't going to be perfect but I wanted to give everything that I had and the guys lifted me up. It was encouraging to me, as the guy who has been here 10 or 11 weeks, to know that I had those guys in my corner, it was special.
"I've been playing football my whole life and I think one of the coolest things was the amount of support I had. Family, friends, team-mates everybody, I had to turn my phone off!"
Blough, however, conceded the Lions can only have themselves to blame for a seventh defeat in eight games.
"As a guy who wants more, it's tough to stand here after a loss but we'll go back and watch the tape and learn and keep on improving," he said.
"You can put it on a lack of execution, some drives that stalled out. I think it shows you the story of our offence all season. We’ve been explosive and had a lot of success against a lot of great teams, no matter who the quarterback is, but sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot."
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