Lions’ offense had unprecedented production without scoring a touchdown

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The good news for the Lions on Sunday night was that they marched down the field repeatedly against the Steelers’ defense. The bad news is those marches kept ending short of the end zone.

In the Lions’ 20-15 loss to the Steelers, they gained 482 yards of total offense but were limited to just five field goals. The Lions became the first team in NFL history to gain at least 475 yards of offense, not have multiple turnovers, and still score less than 20 points.

The Lions were also just the second team in NFL history to gain 480 yards, hold their opponents to less than 21 points, and lose. And they were just the third team in NFL history to gain more than 480 yards and fail to score a touchdown.

Detroit coach Jim Caldwell twice decided to go for it on fourth down inside the Steelers’ 10-yard line, and both times the Lions failed to convert. Eschewing two easy field goals is hard not to second-guess when you lose by five points. For most teams, the first decision, going for it on fourth-and-goal at the 1, probably would have been the right call. But for a Lions team that has struggled all year in short yardage and had just lost its best run blocker, right tackle Rick Wagner, to an injury on the previous play, it was a baffling decision.

The Lions can at least say they had some company in playing well on offense but coming up short, as the Texans also gained more than 450 yards yesterday and lost. NFL teams gaining 450 or more yards of total offense are now 15-2 this season, with Detroit’s and Houston’s losses yesterday. But the Texans’ problem was that their defense couldn’t stop the Seahawks’ offense. The Lions’ problem was that their own offense kept stalling. That’s a tough loss to swallow.

27 responses to “Lions’ offense had unprecedented production without scoring a touchdown

  1. Yup, I was on the ‘Cooter for President’ bandwagon last year, but he has failed to grow as an OC, and the result is a stagnant, predictable offense.

    I thought there was hope when we ran the Jet Sweep with Agnew, but that was the last creative call we saw in that game.


  2. Something isn’t adding up with the Lions. They have too much talent to be fighting with the Bears to stay out of the division cellar.

  3. The game was all Matt Stafford. That dude has GOT to be frustrated. And what NFL coordinator goes shotgun on 4th down from the ONE FOOT line, not making the defense even consider a run play? My God. Coaches have never more clearly lost a game. This includes Pete Carroll in the SuperBowl.

  4. Something isn’t adding up with the Lions. They have too much talent to be fighting with the Bears to stay out of the division cellar.

    my hapless packers already locked up the cellar….bears and lions are fighting for 2nd place.

  5. That’s what you get when you keep stubbornly bringing in a scrub 3rd string RB in in goal to go situations.

    You’ll never hear this from people on this site


  6. Winning isn’t about being popular… and Caldwell is likable.

    Sadly, this seems to matter most to the Fords… and now Quinn is drinking the same Kool-Aide

    Remember what happened to the Colts after that Super Bowl? Remember why Jim was gone? We’re living it in Detroit. With a superstar QB… he did great. When coaching became critical… FLOP. Now, he has a top tier QB and still can’t get it together.

    NOTHING has improved and now even gotten WORSE. No running game. Porous O line. Oh… and the D line is no longer dominating or feared, but VERY pedestrian and average…. 21st overall D out of 32.

    Cmon Martha and Bob. Live up to all the press conference hype 2 years ago. Do the right thing for Detroit football. One of 4 teams to NEVER get to a Super Bowl… and NOT changing anytime in the near future, that’s for sure.

  7. @justintuckrule – Abdullah is no goal line RB. He’s a flyweight who can’t run through a paper bag. He NEEDS a top tier O line to be successful. He’s not a game changer.

  8. Respect for actual “competition” seems to be underrated. The competition is exactly why we watch. Competition is unpredictable. Unpredictability is captivating. If we already know what’s going to happen then nobody would watch in the first place.

  9. How about the coaches decision to go for it on 4th and 2 from the goal line when a
    field goal would have gave the Lions the lead at home. Poor play calling at the goal line killed the Lions. Any fan who watched the whole game would have seen many missed passes by Big Ben. Open receivers he over threw or under threw kept the Lions in it.

  10. Polego – they’re all flyweights. At least AA has some jiggle. I hear ya but He ran pretty strong last night.

  11. THese Lions fans’ comments look a lot like the Chiefs fans’ comments after playing and losing to the Steelers when tehir offense could only muster six field goals. It’s time people started giving that Steelers defense some credit for allowing opponents to march all they want but shut them out fo the end zone when it matters.

  12. I swear, the Lions get the short end of the referees’ stick more than any other team… and I’m a fan of one of their division rivals.

    Let’s face it.. when the one rule that NOBODY understands… the rule that is UNIVERSALLY hated… is named after one of your star players, you know you got hosed (and I am of course talking about “the Calvin Johnson rule”).

    Stay strong, Detroit.

  13. “Cmon Martha and Bob. Live up to all the press conference hype 2 years ago. ”

    That press conference was nothing more than lip service to keep the money machine printing. They are among the at least dozen owners who car absolutely nothing about winning. Why? Because they get their TV money whether they’re 0-16 or 15-1. The TV contracts are the worst thing to ever happen to NFL fans. They give the owners no incentive to actually try and win and put a decent product on the field.

  14. If you can’t run the ball to save your life and your only big bodied WR is injured and Your TE is Eric Ebron, well, you will struggle in the red zone. Cooter is gonna have to show a little more creativity.

  15. If you can’t run the ball effectively you’re going to have red zone issues. The Lions have seemingly upgraded their line but keep resisting on drafting a true bell cow running back. I don’t care if you think your “scheme” can work with middling talent at that position, the game film says otherwise. Abdullah looks like a fine change of pace guy, but not someone who you hand off to 20+ times a game.

  16. Q: Why do so many people think that “with this much talent,” this team should have a better record.

    A: The premise is wrong.

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