Report Card: Buccaneers vs Lions

QB Jon Kitna threw for only 147 yards, his third-lowest total as a Lion, one game after throwing for only 106 yards, his lowest total as a Lion. But there were two main reasons for that: The Lions offense wasn't on the field much, and offensive coordinator Mike Martz ran the ball more often. Much more inside.

REPORT CARD VS. BUCCANEERS

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- QB Jon Kitna threw for only 147 yards, his third-lowest total as a Lion, one game after throwing for only 106 yards, his lowest total as a Lion. But there were two main reasons for that: The Lions offense wasn't on the field much, and offensive coordinator Mike Martz ran the ball more often. Kitna was efficient: 16-for-20, 97.3 rating.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- The Lions ran the ball better than they had in their first five games. Kevin Jones, four games into his return from a bad foot injury, started for the first time this season and had 15 carries for 76 yards. T.J. Duckett returned from a high ankle sprain and had four consecutive carries for a total of 30 yards. WR Calvin Johnson had the best run, however, a 32-yard end-around for a touchdown.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- The Lions play a bend-but-don't break Tampa Two defense, but they aren't supposed to bend this much. Jeff Garcia went 37-for-45 for 316 yards and two touchdowns, scrambling around, throwing short passes, moving the chains, eating up the clock. Sometimes receivers were wide open, finding holes in the zone, especially early in the game. If not for unforced errors by the Bucs -- two fumbles and a missed field goal -- the Lions might not have won.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- The Buccaneers needed a running back so badly -- with injuries to Cadillac Williams, Michael Pittman and Mike Alstott -- they acquired Michael Bennett in a trade with Kansas City. But the Lions made Earnest Graham look great. He had 19 carries for 92 yards, while Bennett contributed three for 22.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus -- The Bucs recovered an onside kick against the Lions, but they went 1-for-2 in that department, and the Lions played well otherwise. The Lions blocked a punt, and Jason Hanson, the 16-year vet, boomed kickoffs for touchbacks.

COACHING: B-plus -- Coach Rod Marinelli was doused with a cooler of ice water after the game because he beat his old team. More important, he has the Lions at 4-2, when they won only three games all of last season. Martz was much more balanced, and it paid off. But defensive coordinator Joe Barry needs to shore up the pass defense.


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