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A Surprising Stat from the Detroit Lions' 2019 Offense

Lions offense became quite conservative in the second half of football games in 2019.

Detroit's offense displayed the capability of executing explosive plays and gaining yards in large chunks in 2019.

In the aggressive downfield scheme, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford led the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns through the first eight games of the NFL season. 

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is known for tailoring offenses that feature a physical rushing attack and taking calculated risks down the field. 

Supporters of the Seahawks and Vikings fell out of favor with Bevell due to some questionable offensive play-calling that left supporters wanting more excitement in the era of high-powered NFL offenses.

In NFL analyst Warren Sharp's book reviewing what he learned in 2019 and previewing the upcoming 2020 season, a statistic emerged that highlighted a contributing factor in Detroit's struggles closing out games last season.

It was eye-opening the sheer number of occasions Detroit could not hold on to leads last season.

"Part of it had to do with their play selection on first-down. Weeks 1 through 9, despite Matthew Stafford leading the NFL with 9.5 YPA in the first half, the Lions came out of the locker room and ran the ball on 60% of their first-down play calls. This was a rate well above what the Lions ran on first downs in the first half," Sharp writes.

Sharp noted, "These runs gained a terrible 2.7 YPC and produced a 25% success rate."

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Could Detroit continue to revert to predictable play-calling now that they have drafted a new running back and revamped the offensive line? 

Supporters must hope that the play-calling is more aggressive and less predictable in 2020.

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