Lions notebook: Offense fizzles in scoreless 2nd half
One play early in the second quarter of Sunday's game turned a struggling Detroit offense into a scoring machine.
But the Lions couldn't maintain that second-quarter momentum and eventually dropped a 37-27 decision to the Steelers at soggy Heinz Field.
The Steelers were leading 17-3 when quarterback Matt Stafford hooked up on a 79-yard touchdown pass with wide receiver Charles Johnson.
That play ignited the Lions' offense for the next 10 minutes and helped them grab a 27-20 halftime lead. The Lions scored all of their points in the second quarter.
Until Johnson's touchdown, Stafford had completed 5 of 12 passes for 60 yards, and Johnson had one catch for 16 yards.
Stafford completed 11 of his 18 passes for 267 yards and two scores in the next 10 minutes, and Johnson had six catches for 179 yards.
It was the first time Stafford had thrown for more than 300 first-half yards in his career. He had 327 on 16 of 30 passes.
Stafford, however, was 3 for 16 for 35 yards in the second half, and Johnson failed to catch a pass. Stafford finished 19 of 46 for 362 yards.
“I don't think we came out hot on offense or defense,” Stafford said. “It was 14-0 before you could take a breath. We didn't help out our defense, but that one play got us back in the game. We just didn't make enough plays.”
Stafford said the Steelers didn't change much defensively, but they made the stops when they needed to.
Stafford tops the list
Stafford became the Lions all-time leader in career passing yards and starts.
His 362 yards moved him past Bobby Layne with 16,005 yards. Layne had 15,710 yards. He also moved past Greg Landry in consecutive starts with 42.
Stafford would trade records for a win.
“We just didn't execute in the second half,” Stafford said. “We had a good second quarter, but we didn't capitalize in the red zone. I missed a couple passes, and we had a couple drops.”
His two touchdown passes, giving him 101 in his career — 17 behind Layne — and posted his 23rd career 300-yard game.
Johnson had another huge game, adding to his already impressive resume.
He recorded his 38th career 100-yard game and his 12th 150-yard plus game. This was his ninth 100-yard game in his past 10 contests.
Johnson refused to speak to media after the game.
The Lions' defense didn't force a turnover and recorded only one sack, by Nick Fairley.
They also dropped two potential interceptions, one by linebacker DeAndre Levy and the other by defensive back Rashean Mathis.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Steelers’ Mitchell taking cautious approach about dealing with injuries
- Inside the Steelers: Wide array of receiving options shine
- Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
- Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary
- Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
- Steelers notebook: WR Bryant sidelined after minor procedure on right elbow
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Ability to clog the trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
- Inside the Steelers: QB Jones continues to get majority of snaps