REPORT CARD vs. TAMPA BAY
PASSING OFFENSE: D -- The Lions basically ignored the passing game through the first three quarters, throwing the ball just 11 times with six completions for 51 yards. When they finally had to throw the ball in the fourth quarter, QB Joey Harrington completed 9-of-16 for 86 yards, but with time running out, his completions to TE Marcus Pollard and WR Mike Williams were ruled out of bounds. Harrington's protection was better than it had been in the previous game at Chicago, but he never seemed to get into a rhythm with his receivers.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Coach Steve Mariucci was determined to pound the ball against Tampa Bay, although the results were minimal. RB Kevin Jones continued to struggle, carrying 12 times for 38 yards, including two carries for two yards in the fourth quarter. Third-string RB Artose Pinner was the most successful rusher, with six tries for 28 yards. After three games, Jones' longest gain has been eight yards.
PASS DEFENSE: C -- Any good the Lions might have done in pass defense -- they were reasonably successful in pressuring QB Brian Griese and intercepted him three times -- was offset by the 80-yard touchdown play by WR Joey Galloway and the 41-yard TD play by RB Michael Pittman. DE Kalimba Edwards got two of the three sacks against Griese; LB Teddy Lehman, CB R.W. McQuarters and FS Terrence Holt had interceptions.
RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Whether it was their defense or rookie Carnell "Cadillac" Williams' tender hamstring, the Lions were successful in taking the hot-starting young RB out of the game. In 11 carries, he gained only 13 yards. RB Michael Pittman was more successful against the Detroit defense, with five rushes for 30 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The return of PK Jason Hanson helped the Lions get back to a semblance of normalcy on special teams. Hanson, who missed the previous game with a hamstring injury, kicked field goals of 44 and 23 yards, but was subpar on kickoffs. P Nick Harris had an outstanding game, averaging 42.8 on six punts, including three he dropped inside the 20. The return game was subpar; Eddie Drummond averaged 5.7 yards on three punt returns and 13.0 on two kickoff returns.
COACHING: C-minus -- Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron was effective in shutting down the Bucs' running game and got more pressure on QB Brian Griese than the Lions were able to generate in the previous game at Chicago. The offensive play calling was a mystery, however. The game plan apparently was to run the ball and they did, although they averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and never got a run of more than 11 yards.