"(When I was reminded) I said, 'I know that probably elevated expectations pretty high'."
Statistically, the Lions are doing some of the same remarkable things on offense they did last year.
Calvin Johnsonis on pace to have the most productive season by a receiver in terms of receiving yards in the history of the game. He had over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.
Matthew Staffordleads the NFL in passing yards (3,742) and needs to average 314.5 yards per game in the team’s last four games to reach 5,000 yards for a second consecutive year. He became just the fourth quarterback in history to reach the mark last season.
“What I’d like to get done offensively in the last four weeks, is just produce in those critical times of the game,” Linehan said. “If we’ve got to get a score to win the game and make it a two-score game so that they can’t catch up, we’ve got to get that score.
"We can’t leave points out there and leave a one-score game still a one-score game.”
Johnson said breaking Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yards record wouldn’t be hollow to him because it’s happening in the midst of a losing season.
It shouldn’t, either. But Linehan said everyone on that side of the football will feel a lot better about breaking records or reaching milestones if they can put four quarters of good offense together and get back to playing the way that allowed them to win 10 games last season.
“These guys are doing some remarkable things in the midst of having a losing season right now,” Linehan said. “If we can finish up strong these last four games we’ll probably be able to feel good about some of the things we’ve done this year, too.”
BROYLES UNDERGOES KNEE SURGERY
Broyles had ACL surgery on his left knee back in November of last year during his senior season at Oklahoma. He was almost completely rehabbed by early October of this year.
The Lions are hopeful Broyles will be ready to play again next season.
SUCCESSFUL RUNNING VS. PACK
In their first game back on Nov. 18 at Ford Field, the Packers played a lot of two-deep safety and gave Leshoure favorable boxes to run against. That’s pretty much been the strategy for opposing defense's all year.
Sometimes Leshoure and the other backs have made teams pay. Other times they haven’t.
“We’re getting a lot of nickel defense,” Linehan said. “We’re getting the kind of things that enable you to have a potential advantage. We just need to continue to move in the direction that we have.
“I think we’ll feel pretty good about the direction our running game’s gone from where it’s been in the past.”
The offense is averaging 4.2 yards per carry, which isn’t bad, but it seems they get too bottled up at times, even when the numbers are in their favor.
Leshoure is averaging 3.8 yards per rush, but leads the team with seven touchdowns.
“Him rattling off really the three explosive runs that we’ve had this year certainly gives him more opportunities I think in our offense, not just in the games,” Linehan said of Bell. “I think you’ll see him playing a little bit more throughout the game.”
The Packers rank in the middle of the pack against the run this year, allowing 115 yards per game, so there could be opportunities if the Lions can take advantage of some favorable situations to run the ball.