Namely, Detroit’s offense came back off the mat for a solid performance putting up 26 points in the victory. The damage could have been far worse, however, and the Lions were inconsistent much of the day. That let Matthew Stafford to proclaim that the team left some opportunities on the field.
Detroit News reporter Justin Rogers looked deeper and pointed out that the 2020 Lions are having problems finishing in the red zone, ranking 27th amongst NFL teams with a 46.2 conversion rate. That number, while not the lowest in the league, certainly isn’t great.
Matthew Stafford said the Lions should have scored 40 points yesterday. That's probably too self-critical, but the offense is definitely leaving too many points on the field. Through three games, their 46.2 red zone conversion percentage ranks 27th in the NFL.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) September 28, 2020
All these red zone struggles bring back bad memories for Lions fans of Jim Bob Cooter. Detroit under Cooter’s offensive leadership, of course, got the reputation of a team that simply couldn’t finish drives off with touchdowns instead of field goals. During his time as offensive coordinator, the team was amongst the worst red zone offenses in the league.
This is a small sample size naturally with only 3 games in 2020, so there is time for improvement, but it’s likely the Lions are going to have to get much better at cashing in their red area chances in order to have a successful season.
Lions 2020 Offensive Stats
So far, the Lions have been a pretty average offense in 2020. Their red zone numbers are concerning, but they are the number 20 total offense in the league, racking up 351 yards per-game. They have the No. 15 passing offense in the league, throwing for246 yards a game through the air. On the ground, they’re the No. 22 rushing offense with 105.7 rushing yards a game and 2 scores on the ground.
Obviously, the Lions have to improve everything, but a good start would be rounding out these red zone numbers which have been bad so far.
Adrian Peterson Thinks Lions Make a Run
Peterson, even in spite of the tough start, still thinks the Lions can do some damage this season. As he said, there are plenty of games left for the Lions to make a run and start to turn things around. Peterson hinted the team can still finish with a great record when meeting with the media, and laid out the plan moving forward.
As he said, it only involves working hard in the room:
“Taking it was 2 divisional games, that sucks. It put us in the hole, but the good thing is we see those guys again and we can even up the series 1-1. Not looking ahead, but that’s something to keep in mind and it’s a long season. There’s 14 more games out there, but who’s to say we can’t go 14-2? Who to say we won’t go 12-4? There’s a lot of football left, the only thing we can focus on now is correcting the things we did bad and becoming a better team overall.”
Certainly, those records are still out there for the Lions, even though fans and others would be skeptical of them getting that job done in the end. Detroit will face a middle part of the schedule that seems doable after their tough 4 game start to the season. If somehow the Lions could claw back to .500 heading into the bye week, it would go a long way toward proving Peterson’s point and getting things on track.
It’s nice to see Peterson being grounded and giving the team quality veteran leadership that could make a difference in the end. If the Lions do pull out of their funk, Peterson will be someone they could thank.
In order to prove his words right, the Lions have to tighten the screws in the red zone.