This post is sponsored by Comcast's NFL RedZone Channel.
- 2 scores on 3 chances (1 touchdown, 1 field goal, 1 turnover on downs)
The Lions didn't even have a single red zone appearance until late in the third quarter, but they ended up with three over the course of the final 20 or so minutes of the game. The first was barely even a trip to the red zone and produced a field goal. The second, much like one of Arizona's appearances, was the direct result of a muffed punt. The Lions unfortunately couldn't take advantage of the mistake, though, and came up short on 4th and 1. The final appearance did result in a touchdown, as Drew Stanton got into the end zone on a QB sneak from a yard out.
- 4 scores on 4 chances (4 touchdowns)
This was one of the Lions' worst red zone performances on the defensive side of the ball in terms of giving up touchdowns. Usually the Lions will allow the opposing team to get into the red zone an awful lot, but the common theme is not giving up a ton of TDs. Well, that wasn't the case this past Sunday. The Cardinals scored a touchdown every time they got into the red zone, though they did turn the ball over twice right as they were about to enter the red zone. The first turnover came at the 24-yard line when Cliff Avril sacked Kurt Warner and forced a fumble, and the second turnover was Louis Delmas' interception in the end zone. The Cardinals had the ball on the 20-yard line on the play where Delmas picked off Warner, so although they weren't officially inside the 20, it was a difference of a few feet. In that sense the Lions' defense did a good job, but still, it would have been nice if just once they could have held the Cardinals to a field goal when the ball was in the red zone.
The Lions' offense broke the streak of having only one red zone appearance a game, but unfortunately their three trips inside the 20 against Arizona only produced 1 touchdown. The turnover on downs hurt the most, although the Lions ended up tying the game later on anyways. Even so, it is always frustrating to watch the Lions struggle in short-yardage situations, and when it is 4th and short inside the 20, it is even harder to stomach a run that goes for no gain.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions did not do a good job of keeping Arizona out of the end zone. I may be just thinking things, but I want to say that a stat was mentioned during the game about Arizona's success in the red zone, so perhaps this was more of a case of the opponent playing well rather than the Lions playing poorly. After all, the Lions have consistently done a good job of keeping opponents out of the end zone when they are inside the 20, so hopefully this is just an off week combined with facing a good red zone team.