NOTEBOOK: Zenner looks good as Lions' lead back

Second-year running back Zach Zenner was the workhorse for the Lions run game for a second consecutive week, and has proven he's the team's best option at the position with Theo Riddick now joining Ameer Abdullah on IR.

"I mean, he ran the ball well. Ran it tough," Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said of Zenner's 69 yards and a touchdown in a 31-24 loss against Green Bay Sunday night.

"He's a workhorse. He can get his shoulders square and find seams. He can catch the ball for us. He does a lot of things well."

Zenner also caught four passes for 41 yards to notch 110 total yards in the contest. He's scored three rushing touchdowns the last two weeks, and leads the team with four touchdowns on the ground.

"He's done a nice job," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "Guys upfront were blocking well for him. He's getting what was there and obviously doing a really nice job after contact. Just running tough and physical."

Zenner carried the ball 20 times against the Packers. Golden Tate had the only other carry in the game. It appears Zenner is Detroit's man in the backfield heading into the playoffs.


There were a number of times it appeared Stafford and his receivers weren't entirely on the same page. An abnormally large number of passes hit the Ford Field turf with a receiver around them.

As it turns out, Stafford confirmed after the game it was an issue throughout the game.

"They just weren't seeing the coverage the same way I was," Stafford said. "Some routes they may need to do a certain thing vs. a certain coverage, we just weren't on the same page."

Stafford finished completing 26 of 41 passes for 347 yards with a couple scores and an interception, but there were some big plays to be had, and the Lions missed out because Stafford and his receivers weren't always on the same page.


  • Starting nickel cornerback Asa Jackson injured his ankle in the first quarter and did not return.
  • The last time the Lions lost three straight games – Weeks 2-4 – they won their next three.
  • Tate finished the season with 91 catches for 1,077 yards. It's the third straight season he's recorded at least 90 catches in a season since joining Detroit in 2014.
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content