Entering Sunday night's game vs. Pittsburgh, the Lions were tied for fifth in the NFL with a red-zone efficiency percentage of 60 percent. So, it was a surprise to see the Lions struggle in that department to the tune of a 0-for-5 performance.
Matthew Stafford was just 2-of-11 passing inside the Steelers' 20-yard line for six yards, and was also sacked once. This week's stats pack takes a closer look at those 12 plays.
1. 1st and 20 at PIT 20
A short flare out to Theo Riddick in the flat for a gain of just one yard.
2. 2nd and 19 at PIT 19
Deep right pass to Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone thrown too high by Stafford.
3. 3rd and 19 at PIT 19
Deep pass left caught by TJ Jones in the end zone, but his feet were just out of bounds.
4. 1st and 10 at PIT 16
Drop by tight end Darren Fells in the end zone that should have been a touchdown. This was a big one.
5. 2nd and 10 at PIT 16
Incomplete to Fells at the 3-yard line on a pass thrown too far behind him by Stafford.
6. 3rd and 10 at PIT 16
Pass to Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone a little too far beyond his diving attempt. Good coverage by Steelers cornerback Joe Haden on the play.
7. 2nd and 1 at PIT 1
Stafford escapes the pocket and delivers a side-armed throw intended for Marvin Jones Jr. that is tipped by a Steelers defender and then broken up when it gets to Jones in the end zone for an incompletion.
8. 4th and 1 at PIT 1
In the shotgun, Stafford looks to pass, but the Steelers drop eight defenders in coverage, and there's nowhere to deliver the football. Stafford tries to run for it, but Steelers defensive end Tyson Alualu spins off a T.J. Lang block and brings Stafford down at the 2-yard line.
9. 1st and 4 at PIT 4
Bootleg pass intended for Ebron in the back of the end zone thrown too high by Stafford.
10. 1st and 10 at PIT 11
Pass left to Marvin Jones Jr. that he should have had for a touchdown. He goes up over cornerback Artie Burns, but the ball goes right through his hands. This was also big.
11. 2nd and 10 at PIT 11
Pass complete to Golden Tate at the 6-yard line with a good open-field tackle by Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton.
12. 4th and 7 at PIT 8
Stafford is pressured and forced to rush a throw to Ebron that's nearly picked off by Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. Center Travis Swanson was bull-rushed right back into Stafford on the play.
Final thoughts: Stafford missed some throws he normally makes, no-doubt, but he should have had 400-plus yards and two touchdowns in this game. Fells and Jones will look back at the film Monday and wish they had those two drops in the end zone back.
Here's a look at some other key stats – good and bad – after eight weeks of football:
- The Lions and Giants are tied for last in the league gaining a first down on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 just 33.3 percent of the time. Detroit is just 4-for-12 converting in those situations.
- Stafford has the seventh-best passer rating on passes he throws down the field 21-plus yards. That includes three touchdowns and no interceptions.
- There's good news and bad news when it comes to Detroit's play offensively on first down. The good news is that Detroit is no longer the only team in the NFL to average less than 4.0 yards per play on first down (4.04). The bad news is they still rank 32nd in the NFL in that category.
- Detroit (0-6), Denver (0-7), Indianapolis (0-6), Minnesota (0-5) and Kansas City (0-3) are the only teams in the NFL that have not converted on fourth down yet this season.
- The Lions are averaging 20.9 yards per punt return, which is tops in the NFL. The NFL average is 8.4 yards per attempt.
- Detroit's red zone third-down conversion rate is just 15.4 percent (2 for 13). That's last in the NFL. The league average is 36.6 percent.