Lions' offense excels in 27-12 win over Ravens

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 18, 2012
After a lackluster start to the preseason, the Detroit Lions appear to have gotten their offense in working order. The Baltimore Ravens, on the other hand, still apparently have plenty of work to do on their defense. Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes in four possessions and Calvin Johnson had five catches for 111 yards to help the Lions cruise to a 27-12 preseason victory on Friday night. Stafford went 12 for 17 for 184 yards. He failed to produce a score in three drives last week against Cleveland, then came up empty in his first two series against Baltimore before guiding touchdown drives of 93 and 70 yards. ''We got into a little bit of a rhythm,'' Stafford said. ''When we kind of figured out what they were doing, we went out and executed.'' Johnson did most of the damage. During the 93-yard drive, he had three catches for 83 yards, a stark contrast to his performance against Cleveland (two catches, 36 yards). ''When we get it going, our offense really flows,'' Johnson said. ''Matt does a good job of putting it on you very quickly.'' Johnson scored from 18 yards out on an excellent catch over cornerback Jimmy Smith. ''Jimmy Smith had good position, but the ball got there so quickly he didn't have time to react.'' Covering Johnson is no easy task, as evidenced by his numbers last year: 96 catches, 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. ''You're talking about a person who should probably be running track, but he chose football,'' Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. ''He's a mismatch for a lot of people. The bottom line is you've just got to make him earn his check. Today, he earned his money.'' Safety Bernard Pollard added, ''The biggest thing with Calvin Johnson is he understands and knows where everybody is at, and he has a quarterback who doesn't care where anybody is at. He is a talent on the field, and he has a special gift.'' Stafford also connected with Titus Young for a 24-yard score to help Detroit (No. 11 tie in the AP Pro32) take a 17-9 halftime lead. Operating under first-year coordinator Dean Pees, Baltimore's defense gave up 254 yards in the first half and a whopping 507 overall. The Ravens (No. 5) are trying to rebound from an offseason injury to linebacker Terrell Suggs and the loss of free agents Cory Redding and Jarret Johnson. ''We have to complete plays, not just be in position to make them,'' Pees said at halftime. ''Communication still isn't where we want it to be. We need to get better, and we will.'' Baltimore's points came on four field goals, two apiece by Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker. The Ravens had two kick returns for touchdowns called back because of penalties. Deonte Thompson had a second-quarter kickoff return nullified, and Asa Jackson's punt return in the third quarter was wiped out. Replacement officials called 20 penalties for 177 yards, including 13 infractions for 123 yards before halftime. Joe Flacco went 7 for 12 for 79 yards and led the Ravens to a pair of field goals before leaving early in the second quarter. Ray Rice played only two series, gaining 12 yards on five carries and catching two passes for 11 yards. ''You're not going to peak real early, it's August,'' Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. ''We're growing in some areas. We're not doing everything we're going to do.'' After getting to midfield on their first possession, the Ravens then moved 60 yards before Cundiff kicked a 32-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Flacco went 4 for 7 for 43 yards on the drive, which was aided by a roughing-the-passer call on Nick Fairley. On Baltimore's third possession, Jacoby Jones ran 35 yards on a reverse, and Detroit's Justin Durant was called for a facemask penalty to set up a 50-yard field goal by Tucker for a 6-0 lead. Stafford put the Lions ahead with his touchdown pass to Johnson, and in his final series the quarterback completed passes to four receivers in a march that ended with Young diving into the end zone on a third-and-4 play. The Lions were without running backs Jahvid Best (concussion) and Mikel Leshoure (hamstring). Kevin Smith started and ran for 11 yards on four carries, and reserve Stephfon Green went 76 yards for a touchdown with 43 seconds left. Backup Stefan Logan was carted off the field in the second quarter with an ankle injury after colliding with Stafford on a handoff. X-rays were negative. --- Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Budweiser: Peyton Manning not paid for Super Bowl beer plug

Archie Manning: 'I think Peyton's done in Denver'

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President

Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Canadiens and Sharks starting to gauge trade market

Danny Trevathan: Broncos defense better than ’85 Bears

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker