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NOTEBOOK: Lions' offense setting franchise records

The Detroit Lions have four different players – running backs David Montgomery (12) and Jahmyr Gibbs (10), tight end Sam LaPorta (9) and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (9) – with at least nine touchdowns in a season for the first time in franchise history.

Each of those players have at least 850 scrimmage yards as well, marking the first time four different Lions have produced 850 scrimmage yards in a season.

"That's the beauty about what (general manager) Brad (Holmes) and his staff have done for us," Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said Thursday. "We were kind of talking about it last week going into the Dallas game, just who we were – who we had available for us last year in the Dallas game versus this year and over the course of now three seasons, how the whole offense has really transformed.

"We've got playmakers all over the place. Every position group, even o-line included. It's really a testament to what Brad and that staff has done for the roster."

And with quarterback Jared Goff playing at a Pro Bowl level, distributing the football all around and spearheading the league's third-ranked offense, it's a unit that should be very dangerous come playoff time, especially at home.

With just 209 total net yards against the Vikings Sunday the Lions will break the single season team record for most total net yards in a season. They currently have 6,331 (4,090 passing & 2,241 rushing).


The Lions are working through a problem that most teams in the NFL would love to have. They are still deciding how best to configure their secondary with C.J. Gardner-Johnson expected back in the lineup this week.

This is a great opportunity Sunday against the Vikings for defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn to start to tinker with some rotations or packages before the playoffs begin.

"Listen, I agree with that. And listen, all three of those guys are going to play because they're all good players," Glenn said. "And the one thing that we try to do as a defense is make sure we have our best players out on the field. Will they all three be on the field at the same time? Possibly. Will somebody be down? Possibly. But they're all going to play, and you'll see that."


Seven-year veteran Jalen Reeves-Maybin has been selected to his first Pro Bowl. He is the first Lions special teamer who is not a kicker, punter, kick returner or long snapper to make a Pro Bowl. He is tied for first in the NFL in special teams tackles (13) and has successfully converted two fake punts this season.

"I'm definitely excited," Reeves-Maybin said Thursday. "I think it helps having a room we have where everyone is kind of pushing each other. I sit in the room with Alex (Anzalone) every day he's in all the special teams meetings he sits right beside me and he kind of said it early to me, 'Bro, you got to go to a Pro Bowl.' He's kind of set that standard for me. Just throughout the whole team having high expectations and fortunate to go out there and perform and get that award."

Reeves-Maybin said it also helps to have a head coach in Dan Campbell who makes special teams a priority.

"There are some teams you can just see it in their play they don't care about special teams," he said. "They don't really keep guys on the roster who excel on special teams. A lot of guys fair catch all the kickoffs. I'm just fortunate to be on a team that doesn't do that."


St. Brown was not voted to the NFC Pro Bowl team. He's the first alternate, so there's still a great chance he'll make it. Dallas' CeeDee Lamb, Philadelphia's A.J. Brown, Tampa Bay's Mike Evans and Los Angeles Rams rookie Puka Nacua earned the nod over St. Brown, who has 112 receptions for 1,371 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

"I was hot," St. Brown said about seeing the Pro Bowl rosters Wednesday night. "The receivers that got picked are all great players, but I was hot. I guess I didn't do enough during the season, so I have to go harder."

NFL defensive backs beware.

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