Lions All-22: Offense squanders first half opportunities in loss to Packers

DET-GB Ebron, Burnett

Green Bay Packers’ Morgan Burnett breaks up a pass intended for Detroit Lions’ Eric Ebron (85) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

When facing a vaunted offense like the Green Bay Packers, you cannot waste opportunities to score points. This is especially true at Lambeau Field where the Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers’ insane 23 TD-0 INT ratio, entered the game 7-0 while scoring 41 points per contest. Continue reading

Advertisements

Lions All-22: The good and bad from Matthew Stafford in Chicago

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A version of this story was published by the Detroit Free Press.

Matthew Stafford had plenty of great moments and forgettable moments in the Lions’ 20-14 win over the Chicago Bears last Sunday.

The sixth-year quarterback displayed his attributes, both the good and bad in leading his team to yet another fourth quarter comeback victory. He showcased toughness and made plays when his back was against the wall. He also made you scratch your head and ask yourself what he was thinking on multiple occasions. Continue reading

Lions All-22: Running game struggles early, comes through late to seal victory over Vikings

Photo Credit-detroitlions.com

Photo Credit – detroitlions.com

A version of this story was published by the Detroit Free Press.

Much has been made of the Lions’ erratic offense this season. A group with elite talent at wide receiver and quarterback should be able to string together quality performances like they have in the past.

After consecutive road losses to the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals and AFC-leading New England Patriots in which the Lions scored a total of five goals, the Lions had feasted on bottom feeders in recent weeks. The offense was humming in back-to-back 34-17 home wins over the porous Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, seemingly righting the ship. Continue reading

Lions All-22: Suh, Ansah bully Buccaneers

Suh, Ansah smile

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 07: Ndamukong Suh #90 and Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a fourth quarter sack while playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field on December 07, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 34-17. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

A shortened version of this story was published by the Detroit Free Press.

Football games are often won in the trenches by the (mostly) unheralded 300-pound lineman.

You can have Peyton Manning as your quarterback, but if the offensive line doesn’t give him time in the pocket, he’ll put up pedestrian numbers. Continue reading

All-22: Bucs’ Mike Evans blossoming in rookie season, will challenge Lions’ secondary

Mike Evans stiff arm

A shortened version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit Lions have faced a boatload of talented rookie wide receivers so far this season. They’ve faced off against Kelvin Benjamin, Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry and John Brown. But none of those guys were as hot as Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans will be coming into tomorrow’s game at Ford Field (1 p.m., Fox).

In a draft class lauded for its talent and depth at wide receiver, Evans has played as well as any of his fellow rookie wideouts.

Selected seventh overall by the Buccaneers, he was the second receiver taken in the historically talented draft class of receivers. He has not disappointed. Continue reading

Lions All-22: Stafford, passing game gashes Bears

CHI-DET Ross 31yds v Cov3

A shortened version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

On Thanksgiving Day, Matthew Stafford had his finest game in two months in leading the Lions to their best offensive performance since week one.

Stafford posted season highs in completions (34), completion percentage (75.6 percent), and yards (390) as the ice cold Lions’ offense awakened from its season-long slump to score four touchdowns in a satisfying 34-17 win over the hapless Chicago Bears.

The team started poorly (a strip-sack of Stafford set-up the Bears at the Lions’ five-yard line) and Chicago stormed out to a 14-3 lead.

However, the offense responded with a confidence-boosting drive of its own culminating with a beautifully thrown touchdown pass from Stafford to Calvin Johnson. Continue reading