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- 1 score on 2 chances (1 missed field goal, 1 touchdown)
The Lions' only two trips to the red zone this past Sunday came at the very start of the game. The first trip was on the game's opening drive, when the Lions moved the ball down the field only to have Jason Hanson kick a field goal off the right upright. The promising drive ended in disappointing fashion, but the Lions got the ball back on the very next play when Louis Delmas picked off a pass and returned it down to the 2-yard line. After a false start, Matthew Stafford found Brandon Pettigrew in the end zone for a touchdown, making for a quick and easy red zone appearance.
During the rest of the first half, the Lions had the ball in Seattle territory quite a few times, but they never got inside the red zone again. That wasn't a big deal when Bryant Johnson made his amazing catch for a touchdown, making a red zone trip unnecessary. On other drives it was a problem, because the Lions' drives either stalled before they reached the 20-yard line or they simply turned the ball over.
In the second half, the Lions only got close to the red zone once, and even then that drive ended on a 50-yard field goal. The Lions really struggled to move the ball in the second half, and Seattle didn't turn the ball over and give Detroit the ball inside the red zone to start a drive, so it was one big struggle in the final two quarters.
- 6 scores on 6 chances (2 touchdowns, 4 field goals)
After the first quarter, Seattle's offense became an absolute red zone machine. Every offensive scoring drive for the Seahawks went through the red zone, though only two resulted in touchdowns. Similar to some of the previous games this season, the Lions' defense relied on bend but don't break football. The Seahawks picked apart the Lions' defense with lots of dink and dunk type of plays, but once it got into the red zone, getting into the end zone wasn't an easy task. One drive the Seahawks had to kick a field goal simply because they ran out of time, but other than that the defense did a good job of holding Seattle to a field goal more often than not. Of course, it's pathetic that the Seahawks were able to get in the red zone six different times, but the defense got away with it by only giving up a pair of touchdowns.
The Lions' offense, thanks in part to the defense creating turnovers, spent all of its time in the red zone in the first few minutes of the game. After that they didn't enter the 20 again, which is a big reason why they only managed to score a field goal after the first quarter. Just like we saw in some recent games, the offense either failed to get into the red zone after a solid drive (i.e. what happened in the second quarter) or simply didn't even come close to the red zone (i.e. what happened in the second half). Going forward, the offense is going to have to be much more consistent and not leave so many points on the field with turnovers and stalled drives.
On the defensive side of the ball, I was happy that the Seahawks only scored 2 touchdowns out of their 6 red zone appearances, but that last number is disheartening. I knew Seattle tore the defense apart with mainly underneath stuff, but I didn't even realize that they made it into the red zone a whopping 6 times until I wrote this post. Bend but don't break football works to make up for a lack of talent, but the defense really needs to starting making more stops before the opposing team gets into the red zone. 6 red zone appearances in 3 quarters is just depressing.