Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Overall Team Report Card

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Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) makes a catch during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

To an extent, you’re looking at the Lions’ offense for the last five years: Calvin Johnson goes and gets the football.

But this year it has been a little different. While Matthew Stafford continues to struggle to find a secondary receiver target, he has gotten quality contributions from guys like Nate Burleson and Joseph Fauria. The problem is, Fauria is only really useful in the red zone, and Burleson has missed most of the season with injury.

Then there’s Reggie Bush, who is on pace for the Lions’ first 1,000-yard rushing season in almost a decade, and also happens to lead all non-Calvin Johnson receivers in receiving yardage.

However, games against Arizona and Green Bay have shown the Lions that their continued offensive success is going to rely on keeping the Johnson/Bush/Stafford combination healthy. While Joique Bell and Kris Durham have proven to be quality players, there is no doubt the Lions offense just isn’t as efficient when Bell and Durham are more than just role players.

The offense is still pass-first, but it has done a much better job of setting up the run. The Lions are probably not going to be a league-leading rushing unit (they average 98.1 yards per game, 21st in the NFL), but they’re not built for that.

The biggest problem with the Lions’ offense is that they’re like old dynamite: they have all the right pieces in place, but you just don’t know if it’ll explode when you need it to.

Grade: B+

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