LIONS INSIDER

STATS PACK: The Joseph Fauria effect and where the Lions stand statistically after Week 6

Posted Oct 15, 2013

Rookie tight end Joseph Fauria is making it very hard for teams to defend the Lions in the red zone

Undrafted rookie tight end Joseph Fauria scored on three touchdown receptions (1, 23 and 10 yards) in the Lions’ 31-17 win at Cleveland. They were his only three catches in the game for 34 yards.

That gives him the team lead in touchdowns for the season (5) and he now has more touchdowns than LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster and Ray Rice.

His three touchdowns also set a franchise single-game record by a tight end. It marked the first time a Lions tight end registered two-plus touchdowns in a game since David Sloan recorded two vs. Cincinnati Oct. 28, 2001.

He also tied a rookie franchise record for touchdown receptions in a game. Fauria became only the second rookie in Lions history to record three touchdown receptions in a game. He joins Hall of Fame running back Doak Walker (three vs. Green Bay Nov. 19, 1950) as the only rookies to accomplish this feat.

Fauria is now the seventh tight end in team history to score five-plus touchdown receptions in a season (Jim Gibbons, Charlie Sanders, David Hill, Ulysses Norris, Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler).

"If he starts to get more attention, somebody has to get less," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of his 6-foot-7 tight end. "Generally, that’s Calvin (Johnson) for us. Not many defenses want to do that. A lot has been made of the dynamic between Reggie (Bush) and Calvin. I think there is, in red zone particularly, another dynamic there (in Fauria) that can force defenses to be spread thin a little bit.

"Anytime you have more play makers on the field and more size mismatches, and in that case it’s a size mismatch, it makes it harder for the defense to defend everything."

Here's a look at some other key stats – good and bad – after five weeks of football:

LIONS:

Offense: 9th overall (21 rush, 6 pass) -- 6th in points scored

Defense: 26th overall (29 rush, 21 pass) -- 19th points allowed

BENGALS:

Offense: 12th overall (16 rush, 16 pass) – 23rd in points scored

Defense: 8th overall (10 rush, 9 pass) -- 7th in points allowed

  • Lions have scored a touchdown 90 percent of the time in goal-to-go situations this year. That's third in NFL. The league average on offense is 68.5 percent.
  • Quarterback Matthew Stafford leads the NFC (second in NFL) in fourth quarter passing with a rating of 124.9. He’s completing 69.5 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and no interceptions in the final 15 minutes of the game.
  • With four touchdowns Sunday in Cleveland, Stafford increased his career total to 92. He joins Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne as only quarterbacks in team history with 90-plus. Layne holds the team record with 118.
  • The Lions defense has allowed four runs of 40-plus yards through six games, which is the most in the NFL. No other team has given up more than two.
  • Opposing offenses are converting 28.6 percent of the time on third down vs. the Lions defense. That ranks second in the NFL. The NFL average on offense is 38 percent.
  • Running back Reggie Bush is fourth in the NFC (sixth in NFL) in total yards with 637. He has 376 rushing (4.8 avg.) and 261 receiving (13.1 avg.)
  • Opponents have scored 56 points on the Lions defense outside of the red zone. That's the 5th most in NFL. The league average is 36.
  • Ndamukong Suh still leads all defensive tackle with 32 total pressures. Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins (26) is second and Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy (24) is third, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
  • Linebacker DeAndre Levy is tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions.
  • Cincinnati lead the NFL in forcing a three-and-out drive 34.3 percent of the time. The NFL average is 22.7 percent.