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- 3 scores on 3 chances (3 touchdowns)
The Lions' offense had a very good day in the red zone against the Jets last Sunday, scoring a touchdown every time they made it inside the 20. The first red zone appearance came on the opening drive of the game. The Lions scored on a 10-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Brandon Pettigrew, taking an early lead. Stafford scored a touchdown on a one-yard run the next time the Lions got inside the red zone. This drive was kept alive by the roughing the kicker penalty that injured Jason Hanson. If not for the penalty, the Lions would have had to settle for a field goal. The final red zone appearance came in the fourth quarter and the Lions scored on a two-yard pass to Nate Burleson.
Jets - 4 scores on 4 chances (1 touchdown, 3 field goals)
The stats for the Jets' red zone appearances are a bit misleading. Here's why: New York's first red zone appearance came in the second quarter and resulted in a field goal. After that they didn't make it into the red zone again until the end of the game. The second red zone appearance resulted in a touchdown that cut the lead down to three points, which is why the third red zone appearance resulted in a field goal. The Jets had the clock working against them and needed only a field goal to tie the game, so they kicked one as time expired. If they had more time, NY probably would have scored another TD with the way they were playing. The situation was similar in overtime. The Jets quickly got into the red zone and could have scored a touchdown, but they didn't need one and simply kicked another field goal, winning the game.
The offense was very efficient in the red zone, which is why the Lions are near the top of this statistical category on a league-wide basis. Defensively, the Lions did a great job of not even allowing the Jets to get near the 20-yard line up until the last few minutes of the game. Before Detroit went into the prevent defense and let New York make its comeback, the Jets had only one red zone appearance, and that one appearance only resulted in a field goal. The final minutes of the game and overtime were a much different story, unfortunately.