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:
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 »