Halftime evaluation: Detroit Lions’ scoreless streak hits 4 quarters in ugly first half against Ravens
DETROIT – Finally, Lions are getting near-competence from their defense. The problem is, her offense is still nowhere near that very, very low bar.
The Lions were hidden in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, burying them in a 10-0 half-time hole and leading the club’s goalless streak to a total of four quarters.
They still haven’t scored since Austin Seibert’s 43-yard field goal in the second quarter of Monday night’s loss to Green Bay. Since then, Detroit has been beaten 31-0 while its offensive has gone half-punt-punt-punt-punt-punt-punt-downs-interception-punt-fumble-downs.
That’s, um, a problem.
Jared Goff struggles to get the ball back downfield. Hell, this guy was dropping an average of 0.2 yards per dropback until very late in the second quarter. That’s, um, another problem. Of course, if you only do three passes to your receivers, that’s a season-long problem for Goff.
The quarterback was much more effective at targeting his tight ends and running backs, but Goff missed D’Andre Swift on a bike route on the right sideline where Swift might still be running if Goff hadn’t overturned him.
Goff’s numbers for the first half aren’t pretty: 8 out of 15 fits just 57 yards, plus two sacks for minus 25 yards. That’s 32 net passing yards for the entire first half, and Detroit is fortunate enough to only drop 10 points.
It’s not all on Goff. Penalties were a big issue, with Penei Sewell and Darren Fells both jumping on separate fourth and short plays early on, forcing Detroit to bump instead. Guard Jonah Jackson was also shown for holding an 8-yard run while Detroit was well ahead of its own end zone. Then Jackson was marked again in third place for a personal foul, forcing Jack Fox to push out of the back end zone.
The Lions actually recovered a fumble on the punt, but rookie Jerry Jacobs was tagged for running out of bounds. So instead of a Lions first down on Baltimore’s 15-yard line, the Ravens had a first down on Detroit’s 35. And it only took Lamar Jackson moments to connect with Devin Duvernay on a 19-yard touchdown pass, the Baltimore a 10-0 lead late in the half.
And with the way this Lions offensive plays – only getting 1.8 yards per pass and 3.5 yards per game – it feels like a very deep hole.
Detroit’s much-maligned defenses continue, which has helped keep the game tight, though this has more to do with Baltimore’s own mistakes than anything else. Hollywood Brown dropped three touchdown passes of their own, which is more than the number of touchdowns Detroit’s entire offense has scored in the last two games.
In the immortal words of Kevin McCallister: Woof.