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- 1 score on 1 chance (1 field goal)
The Lions' offense, after having a nice second half against the Cardinals, reverted back to its old ways and only managed to make one trip to the red zone against the 49ers. That red zone trip came on the first drive of the game and ended with a field goal. After that, nearly every time the Lions even came close to the red zone there was an interception that derailed the drive. The Lions did nearly get inside the 20 when Daunte Culpepper entered the game, but that drive stalled and ended with a field goal just short of red zone territory.
49ers - 3 scores on 4 chances (2 touchdowns, 1 field goal, 1 blocked field goal)
Detroit did a good job keeping the 49ers out of the end zone in the first half, holding them to a field goal on their first red zone trip and blocking a field goal on their second one. The second half did not go so well, though. For some reason the defense always seems to struggle in the second half, especially the third quarter. In this game, San Francisco ended up with a pair of red zone trips and a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. The Lions came close to making a stop both times, but the 49ers twice managed to score a touchdown on third down.
I feel like I'm repeating myself each week because most of the time things don't change. Like usual, the offense needs to get the ball inside the red zone more often and convert those opportunities into touchdowns rather than field goals. On defense, the Lions need to play strong in the red zone for a full game, not just the first half. I don't know if the Lions just don't make as good adjustments as the other team or what, but coming out of halftime is when the defense is most vulnerable in the red zone. If it can play like it did against Arizona rather than like against San Francisco, however, Detroit might actually have a shot at beating Chicago on Sunday.