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After 8 games, Detroit Lions are who we thought they were

Lions 4-4 at midway point of 2016 season

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DETROIT – The 2016 Detroit Lions are who we thought they were: mediocre.

After 8 games, which is halfway through the 2016 season, the Lions are 4-4.

They're winning games they shouldn't be winning, and losing games they shouldn't be losing. Yes, it's the Lions.

Here's a look at the season so far, by the numbers.

OFFENSE:

  • 21st in yards per game (341)
  • 12th in points scored (183)
  • 16th in points per game (22.9)
  • 8th in third down completions (43 percent)
  • 7th in penalties (60), 4th in penalty yards (555)
  • 7th in sacks allowed (19)
  • 25th in rushing yards (684)
  • 21st in rushing yards per carry (3.9)
  • 27th in rushing yards per game (85.5)
  • 28th in rushing touchdowns (3)
  • QB Matthew Stafford is 4th in completion percentage (67 percent), 5th in touchdowns (16), 4th in passer rating (103.4), and 9th in yards per pass (7.64).
  • RB Theo Riddick is 8th in receiving touchdowns, which leads running backs.
  • WR Marvin Jones is 5th in receiving yards (656), and 5th in plays more than 20 yards (11).
  • WE Golden Tate is 2nd in yards after catch (290)

DEFENSE:

  • 10th in yards allowed per game (370)
  • 11th in points allowed (190)
  • 6th in yards allowed per game (6)
  • Last in third down defense (50 percent)
  • 5th in penalties (61) and 14th in penalty yards (470)
  • 16th in rushing yards allowed per game (110)
  • 9th in rushing yards allowed per play (4.4)
  • 12th in sacks (18)
  • 22nd in interceptions (4)
  • 7th in total tackles (380)
  • Last in passing defense (allowing 73 percent completion)
  • Last in opposing QB rating (113.7)
  • Last in passing touchdowns allowed (19)
  • LB Tahir Whitehead is 2nd in tackles (74 combined)

SPECIAL TEAMS:

  • Punter Sam Martin is 4th in average punt yardage (49.3), 1st in net yards (45.2).
  • Kicker Matt Prater is 19th in FG percentage (81 percent).
  • Kick returner Andre Roberts is 1st in return yards (382), and 11th in yards per kickoff return (22.5).

So, what conclusions can we draw from the numbers?

Well, despite a much-improved Matthew Stafford, the offense is essentially middle of the road. The rushing game has been plagued by injury, and is clearly hurting.

The Lions defense is a completely different problem.

Teryl Austin's unit can't stop the pass from anyone. The defense is allowing a better completion percentage than the top rated QB in the NFL.

The Lions remaining schedule features road games in Minnesota, New Orleans, New York and Dallas, and home games against the Vikings, Jaguars, Bears and Packers.

 


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