Lions would love to start faster

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 18, 2012
(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) The Detroit Lions are averaging a little more than two touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season. Finding that same production before the start of the final period has proved elusive. The Lions (2-3) have scored 73 points in the fourth this season, trailing only Denver's 79, and both victories came after final-period rallies. Detroit scored a pair of late touchdowns to upend St. Louis in the opener and had a 17-point fourth quarter to force overtime before winning at Philadelphia last Sunday. The same offense has produced just 50 points and two touchdowns in the first three quarters five games into the season. ''If I had the answer, I'd take the pads off and start coaching,'' said receiver Nate Burleson, who caught a fourth-quarter scoring pass in Sunday's 26-23 win against the Eagles. ''We've got to go out and find that spark at the beginnings of games.'' Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw for more than 5,000 yards last season, is the league's best final-quarter passer this fall. He's 57 for 89 for 714 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. The runner-up, Cincinnati's Andy Dalton, is more than 125 yards behind. Last Sunday's victory, which ended with a Jason Hanson field goal, was the eighth game-winning drive of Stafford's career. He was 15 for 24 for 220 yards there. ''We can't make it this hard on ourselves every week. We understand that,'' he said, ''but at the same time, a win's a win in the National Football League and they don't always come easy.'' Coach Jim Schwartz and several players lauded the team's perseverance, but were quick to add they'd rather see less drama in the final 15 minutes. ''There's talented guys here who can come back and make games out of nothing and win games when we're down by double-digit points,'' center Dominic Raiola said. ''But at the same time, we're not trying to put ourselves in that situation. We like to think we have the weapons to always get ourselves back into games, but let's keep that in reserve.'' Detroit is averaging seven first-half points in its three losses. That kind of performance could be too much to overcome Monday night when the Lions visit Chicago. The NFC North-leading Bears have allowed the fewest points in the league this season, are third-best in total defense and tied for most takeaways. Schwartz said he'd be a lot happier if his team wasn't playing from behind. ''We have to be efficient in all four quarters,'' he said. ''It can make a difference for us if we can get a lead and hold a lead. We certainly want to score in all four quarters. '' NOTES: Cornerbacks Bill Bentley (shoulder) and Jacob Lacey (concussion) did not participate in practice Wednesday. Rookie CB Chris Greenwood practiced for the first time since offseason abdominal surgery. . DE Cliff Avril (back) and DT Corey Williams (knee) also did not practice. . Schwartz wouldn't elaborate on RB Jahvid Best's future. Best (concussion) was not cleared to play last week and the coach would not say if he will under more tests. . The Lions will reach the halfway point of the season having played just two NFC North opponents.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

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

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

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