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First-Half Analysis: Offense Gains One Yard in First Quarter

Detroit Lions' offense was quite ineffective early on against the Cincinnati Bengals.

All throughout practice this week, Detroit's coaching staff and several players on the roster emphasized the importance of starting faster offensively. 

Turnovers were the culprit that many on the Lions identified as the reason for the slow start last week.

Unfortunately, two penalties on the opening drive of the Week 6 contest stalled Detroit's first series, as tight end T.J. Hockenson and left tackle Penei Sewell both were called for infractions. 

Cincinnati's offense took advantage of a favorable matchup against a linebacker, as running back Chris Evans easily juked Jalen Reeves-Maybin out of his shoes for the opening touchdown of the afternoon. 

It was the Bengals' turn to shoot themselves in the foot on their second offensive drive. A holding penalty and subsequent false start penalty backed up the Bengals.

Cornerback Amani Oruwariye was able to intercept a Joe Burrow pass intended for standout rookie Ja'Marr Chase, but a taunting penalty cost the Lions 15 yards, when safety Tracy Walker was flagged for the infraction. 

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Unfortunately, Detroit simply could not capitalize, as rookie wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown bobbled a Jared Goff pass that was intercepted by Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson.

A potential touchdown pass was missed when Goff missed an open Hockenson in the second quarter. Had the duo connected, it could have likely resulted in a significant gain. 

The Lions trail, 10-0, at the half. The Bengals will start the second half with possession, after winning the opening coin toss and deferring. 

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Notes

  • Defensive lineman Nick Williams briefly left the game with an ankle injury, but returned to action after being examined on the sideline.
  • Detroit ran eight offensive plays in the first quarter for a total of only one yard. 
  • Running back Jermar Jefferson was listed as active for the first time in his NFL career. 
  • The Lions averaged less than three yards per play, and struggled to convert on third down. In the first half, the offense only converted 1-of-6 attempts on third down. In total, the offense produced only 51 total yards.
  • It's the Lions' fourth consecutive game without scoring a touchdown in the first half.