STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. RAMS
PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus -- The Mike Martz magic is rubbing off on the Lions. QB Jon Kitna wasn't perfect. He had two interceptions mixed in with 29 completions in 43 and his fourth-down Hail Mary on the Lions final play of the game took WR Roy Williams about two yards out of the end zone to make the catch. Overall, however, the Lions passing game continued to make improvement. Williams had nine receptions for 139 yards and WR Mike Furrey caught eight for 82 and a pair of touchdowns.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- RB Kevin Jones still hasn't had a hundred-yard rushing game in two seasons but the ground game is showing signs of progress also. And, considering the make-shift status of the offensive line with backups Rick DeMulling at LG and rookie Jonathan Scott at RT, the 4.4-yards per attempt average was not bad. Jones gained 93 yards on 19 attempts and had the second two-touchdown game of his three-year career.
PASS DEFENSE: F -- The lack of a pass rush has become the Lions' Achilles heel. They got to QB Marc Bulger for just one quarterback sack -- a seven-yarder by DE Kalimba Ewards. The rest of the time Bulger was able to operate pretty much at his leisure, completing 26 of 41 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns. WRs Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt each had 100-yard receiving games, Bruce with seven catches for 100 and Holt with six for 102. Each had a touchdown. CB Dre' Bly had four passes defensed but still has no interceptions.
RUSH DEFENSE: C-plus -- The run defense wasn't as good as it had been a week ago. Rams RB Steven Jackson certainly didn't shred the Lions but he hurt them with a 27-yard run and a one-yard touchdown run, and backup RB Stephen Davis gained 26 yards on four rushing plays
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- For a second consecutive week, the Lions showed some improvement in special teams, in the return game and the punting game most notably. Eddie Drummond was not involved in the passing offense against the Rams and his production on KOR duty increased dramatically. He returned six kickoffs for 210 yards, including a 65-yarder, for an average of 35.0 yards per attempt. P Nick Harris only punted three times but he averaged 42.0 with a net of 40.3, had no touchbacks and dropped one punt inside the 20. The coverages were solid and PK Jason Hanson was three-for-three on FGs.
COACHING: D -- With head coach Rod Marinelli's background as a defensive line coach and coordinator Donnie Henderson's reputation as an aggressive, creative defensive coach, the Lions should be giving up an average of 35 points a game, which is what they have done in the last three losses. They can't stop the pass and it's destroying them to the tune of 34 points by Chicago, 31 by Green Bay and 41 by the Rams. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz, receivers coach Kippy Brown and offensive line coach Larry Beightol have done a good job putting together an offense. Thirty-four points should be enough to win a game with any kind of defensive effort.