Film Review: What’s wrong with Lions’ offense?

DET at MIN 3Q 1-10 Vikes disguise coverage

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

Entering this season, there were high expectations for a Lions’ offense that was far too inconsistent last season.

Detroit’s priority in the off-season was to improve the offensive line and, by extension, the league’s 28th-ranked rushing attack, which averaged a paltry 3.6 yards-per-carry (29th). They traded for veteran guard/center Manny Ramirez, drafted guard Laken Tomlinson in the first round and added running back Ameer Abdullah in the second round. Continue reading

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Eric Ebron and the struggle for rookie tight ends

Dec 7, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron (85) makes a catch and looks for running room during the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 7, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron (85) makes a catch and looks for running room during the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After re-signing veteran Brandon Pettigrew, and with Joseph Fauria coming off a seven-touchdown rookie season, the Detroit Lions looked set at tight end heading into the 2014 NFL draft.

So when the Lions selected North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron with the 10th overall pick, General Manager Martin Mayhew caught flack from factions of the fan base and the media, who wondered why the team decided to add a third tight end while bypassing potential talent on defense and at wide receiver. Continue reading

All-22: Lions fail to convert on handful of crucial plays

Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews sacks Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews sacks Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

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

When facing a high-octane offense like the Green Bay Packers, you must eliminate mistakes and cannot waste opportunities to score points. This is especially true at Lambeau Field, where the Packers entered last Sunday’s contest with the Detroit Lions averaging 41 points per game. Continue reading

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

Lions All-22: Offense out of sync, missed opportunities abound vs. Patriots

Credit-NFL Game Rewind

Credit-NFL Game Rewind

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

The Lions’ offense failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive contest (spanning 22 possessions) in their 34-9 drubbing at the hands of the white-hot Patriots on Sunday. The offensive performance has everyone wondering how a team that scored 24.7 points per game last season (13th in the NFL) could fall to 17.9 (28th). They were supposed to be better this year. Continue reading

All-22 Detroit-New England Preview: Pats defense struggles against tight ends

Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports First-round pick Eric Ebron has missed the past two games with injury and has only 10 receptions.

Lions rookie tight end Eric Ebron has a chance to punish the Patriots this week                       -Andrew Weber/USA TODAY

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

The Lions’ offensive struggles have been the center of attention, one week after scoring a season-low six points and failing to score a touchdown for the first time since 2009. The leaky offensive line has gifted opposing defenses 31 sacks, the run game is 30th in the NFL and short-yardage troubles plagued the team last week. With the loss to 9-1 Arizona, the Lions dropped to an astounding 0-15 on the road against teams that finished with winning records with Matthew Stafford under center.

Yet thanks to a top-rated defense along with a sprinkle of late game magic from the much-maligned offense, Detroit is the only team with a winning record in the bottom third in scoring, averaging a measly 18.8 points per game. Continue reading