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Twentyman: Lions need to keep their foot on the gas

Posted by ttwentyman on December 2, 2012 – 3:50 pm

If you were hoping for a defensive struggle Sunday at Ford Field, you’re a little disappointed at the half. The Lions and Colts have combined for 437 yards and 37 point over the first 30 minutes, with the Lions holding a 23-14 halftime edge.

The Lions are moving the football through the air (212 yards), but are averaging just 3.1 yards per rush on 14 attempts. The interior of the Lions offensive line is getting beaten off the punch and has trouble sustaining blocks in the run game so far.

The Lions are leading the turnover battle 2-1, which was one of the big keys coming into the game and is one of the reasons the Lions are up.

Here are a couple other halftime adjustments for the Lions:

PRESSURE LUCK

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck came into the game being sacked 26 times. He was on pace to finish with 38 sacks taken this season.

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukomg Suh sacked Luck on the Colts’ first offensive play of the game, but that has been the only sack for the Lions so far. Luck has been able to step up in the pocket too many times this first half and find receivers down field. He’s shown his rookie side with two interceptions, but the Lions aren’t good enough on the back end to let Luck continue to sit in the pocket and scan the field.

The Lions can’t blitz to get pressure, either. Luck has burnt them twice in the first half.

NO LETTING UP

The Colts hold a 6-1 record in games decided by one possession this season. The Lions are 3-6.

The Lions have failed each of the last two weeks to separate themselves from both the Packers and Texans when given the opportunity in close games.

The Colts have won four games in the fourth quarter or overtime – the Lions need to keep their foot on the gas and continue to extend the lead.

FEED THE BEAST

The Lions lost receiver Ryan Broyles to a right knee injury early in the game and his return is questionable. That now leaves them with only Calvin Johnson, Mike Thomas, Kassim Osgood and Stefan Logan at the receiver spots.

Tight ends Brandon Pettigrew (43 yards) and Tony Scheffler (45) are picking up some of the slack, but Calvin Johnson has really picked it up. Johnson’s eight first half receptions are a career-high for a half and he leads the team with 83 yards.

The Lions are finding creative ways to get Johnson the ball, but the Colts are likely to adjust in the second half with Broyles out. Can Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan continue to find ways to get Johnson open with a likely adjustment coming by the Colts?


Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 31 Comments »

Young inactive for second consecutive game; Backus to start

Posted by ttwentyman on December 2, 2012 – 12:32 pm

Receiver Titus Young is inactive today for the Lions and will miss his second consecutive game for disciplinary reasons.

Young was asked to leave the team following a loss to the Packers two weeks ago when he continually lined up wrong and was insubordinate on the sideline.

He was inactive last week vs. Houston. Young rejoined practice this week, but head coach Jim Schwartz said Young had to earn his was back to active status.

Young has 33 receptions for 375 yards and four touchdowns on the season.

Rookie Ryan Broyles and veteran Mike Thomas did a nice job of picking up the slack for Young last week. Broyles had 126 receiving yards and Thomas caught his first touchdown as a Lion.

The Lions will have the services of safety Louis Delmas, who is active and will make his fifth start of the season today vs. Indianapolis. Delmas left in the fourth quarter on Thanksgiving with soreness in his left knee.

The Lions will also have Jeff Backus back at left tackle. Backus saw his iron-man streak of 187 consecutive starts (including playoffs) snapped last week because of a hamstring injury.  Backus was limited in practice all week but is ready to go.

Joining Titus Young on the inactive list are: cornerback Jonte Green, tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, receiver Brian Robiskie, quarterback Kellen Moore and defensive end Ronnell Lewis.

Green has been dealing with an illness all week.

Defensive tackle Corey Williams will play for the first time in a month because of a knee injury, but will not start. Nick Fairley, who has three sacks over his last three games while starting for Williams, will get the nod.

Ricardo Silva will start opposite Delmas at the other safety spot.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 10 Comments »