The Detroit Lions did not punt last Sunday, which actually paid off a goal offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was open about.
The Detroit Lions played practically a perfect game in Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with no turnovers, one penalty and over 430 yards of offense. In nine offensive drives, eight before end of game kneel-downs in a 40-14 blowout win, they did not punt once.
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is garnering buzz as a head coaching candidate, even if he doesn’t want to talk about it. Despite some key injuries, or key players operating at less than 100 percent for chunks of this season, the Lions’ offense has been very good outside of a couple dud games against tough defenses on the road. But the game against Jacksonville was on a wholly different level.
Ben Johnson had a goal of a ‘perfect game’ for Lions offense
Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown spoke to the media after last Sunday’s game. He revealed a goal Johnson had for the offense. (via Heavy.com).
"Defense, offense, special teams. Starting as an offense, I don’t think we punted once. Coach (Ben) Johnson talked about that a few weeks ago. After every game we put up the drive chart. For the most part it’ll say touchdown, field goal, upon whatever it is throughout the whole game. He said he wants to get to a point where it’s all green which is all points and we did that today,” St. Brown said."
Never punting in a game is of course very rare. No NFL team had done it in a regular season game in four years before the Lions did it Sunday. The Lions hadn’t done it themselves since 2017, and they had not done it in a home game since 1971.
But Johnson was open with his offensive unit about wanting to have a perfect game, with points on every drive–no punts, and no turnovers. Even if it never happens again while Johnson is running the Lions’ offense, they got it done against Jacksonville to pay off his belief it could be done by this particular group.