ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have a chance to get back to .500 this weekend with an offense that finally shook off its first-half scoring troubles.
After scoring just one opening-half touchdown in their first six games, the Lions got two in Sunday’s 28-24 win over visiting Seattle. Even better, they had three scores after the Seahawks got touchdowns.
“The offense went in every time and responded with touchdowns,” coach Jim Schwartz said Monday.
Now the Lions (3-4) can get to .500 for the first time since the second week of the season and the chances for a second straight win are promising Sunday when Detroit visits Jacksonville, which has lost four in a row.
While Titus Young’s nine-catch, 100-yard performance drew plenty of attention, it was hard not to notice All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson finished with just three receptions. And, for the second straight game, he did not have a catch in the first half.
He has just one touchdown reception this season, a year after averaging more than 100 yards and a touchdown per game.
Schwartz said the numbers don’t concern him.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with how many balls he gets,” he said. “He knows football. He just wants to win.
“Any player in our locker room will sacrifice personal performance for a win.”
Schwartz added that increased production from the team’s tight ends — Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler had 11 catches between them — and running backs — the Lions got key late runs from Joique Bell — helped spread the offense around.
The Lions are a long way out of first place in the NFC North but can get themselves closer to second-place Green Bay (5-3) and Minnesota (5-3) by winning their next two road games. After visiting Jacksonville, the Lions play just their third division game of the season Nov. 11 at Minnesota, which defeated Detroit 20-13 in late September.
After that, the Lions play five of their final seven games at Ford Field.
The confidence that came from Sunday’s overall offensive performance and final drive that yielded the winning touchdown should help an offense that frequently encountered fits and starts during the road swing.
“It was just a matter of us executing and getting out there and playing well,” Pettigrew said Sunday after finishing with seven catches for 74 yards. “They played great defense, but I think it was about us playing to our level that we can play and just playing to our ability.”
Schwartz also said he was pleased with the offense’s performance against what he called a very good Seattle unit. The Lions converted 12 of 16 third-down opportunities, including three on the game-winning drive.
NOTES: Schwartz said safety Louis Delmas had some tests on his left knee Monday but did not elaborate, only saying the four-year veteran was day-to-day. Delmas left Sunday’s game and did not return. He had surgery on the same knee during the preseason and missed Detroit’s first four games. . Cornerback Jacob Lacey (concussion) is expected to return to the practice field this week. Schwartz was not as certain about the return of safety Amari Spievey (concussion).
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)