Skip to main content

Week In Review

WEEK IN REVIEW: Offense rolling as Lions prepare for home opener

The Lions' offense picked up where they left off last season with an impressive performance to open the 2016 season in Indianapolis.

"I think I would say that when he's in command and running things, he puts a lot of pressure on the defense, he doesn't give them much time," head coach Jim Caldwell said of Stafford's performance.

"He's been very, very accurate when things have been spread out, he spreads it around. I think you guys saw a little bit of, I mean from midseason on, he's been playing the way he's playing right now."

Stafford is thriving in Jim Bob Cooter's offense, a system that utilizes the short passing game to play to the Lions' strengths.

"I think it's a whole sort of offensive philosophy," Cooter said. "We're getting it to our best players, doing what they do best. Getting the ball to Golden (Tate) getting the ball to Theo (Riddick), getting the ball to Ameer (Abdullah), getting the ball to Anquan (Boldin).

"We're trying to spread the ball around to everybody. The quicker throws I think if you did a big study around the League, I'm sure the quicker, shorter throws are probably less turnover prone and I think our offense is sort of fit towards that."

Another big factor in the offense's success has been the improved play of the offensive line. Even though we're only one game into the season, Stafford likes what he sees from that unit.

"Demeanor, it means a lot to me as a quarterback, just watching our guys," Stafford said. "You're not going to be perfect every play. You're going to have bad plays, but being able to move on, move past them, like everybody has to do in this league.

"There's going to be bad plays for everybody, but the more we can move on from those and learn from them, the better we'll be."

Rookie left tackle Taylor Decker was solid in his debut with no sacks allowed, only one quarterback hit allowed and one false start penalty.

Obviously, they had some good pass rushers, and it was going to be a challenge for me, but that's the nature of playing tackle," Decker said Wednesday when asked about his performance last week.

"It was good for me to go out there and play in a full game. Build some confidence moving forward and not just do it in the preseason playing a quarter or a half or something like that.

"Just like us a group, it was a good thing to build off of. A good foundation to start on and getting better moving forward."

The Lions' Week 2 opponent, the Tennessee Titans, present a different challenge than they saw last week against the Colts.

"Funky formations, they do a lot of things," defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said. "There'll be receivers that line up at tight end, there'll be backs that line up out wide, there'll be backs that line up at quarterback, there will be all kinds of things.

"They present a lot of unique challenges, but at the end of the day we've got to execute better. We've got to make sure our keys, our eyes are right, we're keying the right things and we're playing fast."

For Mike O'Hara's full scouting report on the Titans, click here.

After signing extensions last week, punter Sam Martin and running back Theo Riddick followed up with big performances in Indianapolis.

Riddick ran the ball seven times for 45 yards (6.4 average) and caught five passes for 63 yards (12.6 average). He also had two touchdowns, 1 rushing and 1 receiving on the night.

Martin's performance earned him NFC special teams player of the week honors. His four punts in Indy went for 57, 56, 59 and 63 yards.

"I'm happy to be here another four years," Martin said of his extension. "I'm really excited about it.

"There was definitely part of me that went out there saying 'okay, I just signed this deal, I have to kind of back it up,' but in the same token I worked so hard to get to this contract and now I have to work just as hard to play as this contract pays me, if not better. The ideal situation is I'd like to always think I'm underpaid."


Linebacker DeAndre Levy missed practice all week with a quad injury. He's listed as doubtful on the injury report.

Everyone else on the report (defensive end Ziggy Ansah, tight end Cole Wick, cornerback Adairius Barnes) is listed as questionable.


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