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Lions Red Zone Recap: Week 11

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Lions - 2 scores on 2 chances (2 touchdowns)

The Lions had two red zone appearances in this game. The first came at the end of the first half thanks to a Felix Jones fumble. It was recovered by Detroit at the Dallas 14, putting the Lions in the red zone to start the drive. Detroit capitalized on the awesome field position, scoring on a nine-yard touchdown pass to Nate Burleson on the third play of the drive.

The second red zone appearance for Detroit came after a rough stretch in the third quarter. Dallas returned a punt for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and then scored another touchdown in a span of about three minutes. The Lions were reeling, but they rebounded with an 80-yard scoring drive. Burleson had a 58-yard catch to put the Lions in the red zone, and two plays later Shaun Hill found Calvin Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown.

Cowboys - 3 scores on 3 chances (3 touchdowns)

Dallas' red zone appearances consisted of two lengthy drives and one quick one. The first of the lengthy drives came on the Cowboys' first possession of the game. Detroit pinned Dallas on the two-yard line with a good punt, but the Cowboys took the ball and went 98 yards down the field over the course of seven minutes, eventually scoring on a one-yard pass from Jon Kitna to Dez Bryant.

Both of the Cowboys' other red zone appearances produced touchdown passes to Miles Austin. The first, like one of the Lions' red zone opportunities, came about because of a fumble. Jerome Felton coughed the ball up and it was recovered by Dallas already inside the red zone. Four plays later, Kitna found Austin for a touchdown. The other red zone appearance resulting in a Kitna-to-Austin connection was on another drive of the lengthy variety. This one took 16 plays and almost eight minutes off the clock as the Cowboys drove down the field for another touchdown.


I would have liked to see the Lions get inside the red zone more than just twice, especially considering the defense created one of those two trips. Even so, the good news is both of the red zone opportunities did result in touchdowns, so that's a positive. On the flip side, all three of the Cowboys' red zone trips were touchdowns, which isn't good for the defense. Yes, the offense did put Dallas right in the red zone once with a fumble of its own, but holding the Cowboys to a field goal on just one of those long drives would have been nice. Neither ended up stalling, though.

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