The Detroit Lions went 0-5 on red zone possessions versus the Steelers but found their way into the end zone last night in Green Bay.
Finally, the Detroit Lions found the end zone after settling for field goal after field goal a week ago versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. It didn’t take long versus the Green Bay Packers last night as quarterback Matthew Stafford found wide receiver Marvin Jones down the right side of the field on the first drive to give the Lions the early lead.
Two drives later, Lions running back Ameer Abdullah found the end zone from four yards out. The score gave the Lions a 14-0 lead putting the team in control of the game they ultimately won, 30-17. It was Abdullah’s second rushing touchdown of the season and only the third rushing touchdown of the year for the Lions.
The early production and points go against the grain of what this Lions team has done all year: start slow and pick up momentum late (if at all). And that’s the encouraging part. With the season half over and the Lions even at 4-4 with a 2-0 record in the NFC North, things are looking up.
Stafford has thrown for 350+ yards in two straight games. Jones and fellow Lions wide receiver Golden Tate both put up 100+ yards receiving last night. This was accomplished with a “formidable” ground game – a below average 64 rushing yards for the game.
This was also accomplished without left tackle Taylor Decker and rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay. While protection wasn’t a big issue against the Packers, having the starting left tackle will be a relief, to say the least. And the Lions red zone woes could be cured with a bigger target on the outside when Golladay returns to the lineup.
There were still a couple of disappointing red zone trips where the offense sputtered and couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone. Stafford sneaking, running back Theo Riddick going up the middle and a sweep to running back Dwayne Washington were new sights at the goal line. But, ultimately, they didn’t work.
The good news is those calls weren’t as predictable as we’ve seen before. They were different calls for certain personnel packages and they showed a little bit of open-mindedness to try something new.
With injured players coming back, things can only get better. And pulling out this divisional win on the road could be the shot in the arm this Lions team needed to get their season back on track.