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Other Week 14 Game Recaps

Week 14 Game Recap: Detroit Lions 14, St. Louis Rams 21

What you need to know

Detroit Lions

The Detroit offense was out of sync for much of this game. While they were able to move the ball using their backfield on the ground and through short passing routes, Stafford was harassed and hit all game, causing his accuracy to once again dip while giving the green light to poor decision making. The Ram's defense was successful not only up front, but in the secondary as two of Stafford's sacks and the lack of involvement for Calvin Johnson were coverage related.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams ended a 5 game losing streak with a 21-14 win. Mid 2nd quarter, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson jumped a pass for a 58 yard interception return for touchdown. Todd Gurley ran well during the second half with a couple of long runs and 2 touchdowns. The Rams special teams played well controlling the field position throughout the game.

Detroit Lions

QB Matthew Stafford, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 46 - 245 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0
While it wasn't Matthew Stafford's worst statistical performance of the season, he and the Detroit Lions offense's overall performance felt uninspired and lethargic. Missing from this game that was so potent last week were the deep shots to Calvin Johnson downfield. Johnson wasn't even targeted until the second quarter, and finished the game with only one reception. The ground game was moderately effective, but the offensive line allowed Stafford to be rushed, hit, and sacked throughout the game. While Stafford has mitigated the pressure the last two weeks by using his feet to escape it, the speed of the St. Louis defenders kept Stafford in the pocket and did not allow the quarterback to seek refuge. Stafford's accuracy was reminiscent of games earlier in the season, as he missed open targets in a wide variety of ways. A poor decision midway through the second quarter on a toss intended for Calvin Johnson was easily undercut by the defender and returned for a 48 yard pick-six. The lone big play of the game came shortly thereafter when Stafford connected with Golden Tate on a 17 yard out that Tate cut back in for an additional 20 yards after the catch. The play was unfortunately negated by penalty, and Detroit stalled after a blatant intentional grounding call before heading in for the half. Stafford was able to find some success moving the ball in the second half, mostly on play action passes to his backs (which has been a successful staple play for Detroit lately), and check-down throws that were churned for chunks of yards after the catch. Late in the fourth quarter, with desperation setting in, a collapsing pocket forced Stafford outside and he threw an ill-advised pass that nearly resulted in another turnover. Ultimately, Stafford and his teammates couldn't muster enough offense against a beatable foe.

RB Theo Riddick, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 18 - 0, Rec: 7 - 44 - 0 (11 targets)
The most targeted receiver for Detroit, Theo Riddick delivered both through the air and on the ground. Riddick saw the ball often on screen passes and check-downs and often gained ample yardage after the catch. On a stunning mislead run, Riddick faked left before turning back to the right to follow his blockers. As the play was quickly broken up, Riddick planted and turned back to the left, heading up field for a 16 yard gain. He continues to play a stable and critical role on the offense, and had what may have been his only gaffe for 2015 when he dropped a pass intended for him on a screen pass.

RB Ameer Abdullah, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 23 - 0, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (2 targets)
Seeing the same amount of carries, targets, and receptions as Bell, Ameer Abdullah made less with what he was given. Bottled up in the backfield for much of the game, Abdullah consistently flashed his ability to avoid taking a loss, but was unable to get much further down the field. Abdullah's big play on the day was a play action pass for 16 yards, similar to the play that Bell found room to work on.

RB Joique Bell, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 50 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (2 targets)
Joique Bell had his second most productive game of the season, finding room to work between the tackles and being utilized through the air. On his second run of the day, Bell displayed the strength that was commonly seen last season, pounding his way through two defenders for a 13 yard run. A staple play for Detroit the last month, Bell was also used on a play action pass that he quickly turned up field for 17 yards. His most productive run on the day was an 18 yard scamper to the right where he found open field through a hole and burst for yardage.

WR Golden Tate, 61 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 15 - 0, Rec: 9 - 60 - 2 (10 targets)
Second in targets, but the most productive receiver for the day, Tate was used on short-to-intermediate passing routes and continued to deliver after the catch. A 17 yard out route that Tate caught and cut back inside of the defender for another 20 yards was negated by penalty, but Tate did find the end zone twice on slant routes for 9 and 2 yard touchdowns.

WR T.J. Jones, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 33 - 0 (8 targets)
After a bit of a coming out party last week, TJ Jones was involved in the passing game once again. Showing speed and agility, Jones executed on shorter routes and dazzled on a crucial 15 yard curl for a first down to keep the chains moving. Stafford missed the receiver wide and short respectively on two other big throws, and a momentary lapse in ability caused Jones to drop an easy pass late in the game. His involvement has skyrocketed with Lance Moore out of the picture, and it has served Detroit well to see what they have in this young receiver.

WR Calvin Johnson, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (5 targets)
Calvin Johnson was blanketed and covered very well for the majority of this game. He saw only 5 balls thrown his direction -one of which ended in a pick-six and two others were poor decisions by Stafford. His first target of the game was midway through the second quarter when Stafford overthrew him by three yards on a wide open play. In the fourth quarter, Johnson and his quarterback did finally connect on a 16 yard post route where the receiver was unfortunately stopped on the 2 yard line, just short of a score.

TE Eric Ebron, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (5 targets)
Eric Ebron caught three of five passes in his direction, and fortunately did not have any big drops on the day.

TE Brandon Pettigrew, 13 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)
Brandon Pettigrew only saw one pass in his direction, and made the catch for a 7 yard gain. Unfortunately for Pettigrew, a non-contact injury when he cut inside on a crossing route ended his season, as reports Monday are that he suffered a torn ACL.

St. Louis Rams

QB Case Keenum, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 22 - 124 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0
Case Keenum started his 2nd game of the season. Keenum was rushed in the pocket for much of the game due to poor pass blocking. Keenum completed 14 passes on 22 attempts for 124 yards and 1 interception. During the opening series, Keenum completed passes of 7 yards to Todd Gurley and 2 and 3 yards to Tavon Austin. Late 2nd quarter, Keenum completed a 11 yard pass to Jared Cook and a 14 yard pass to Austin. He followed that up with an interception before halftime. On the play, Keenum was hit from behind resulting in the pass to be off-target. The Rams led at halftime 7-0 and Keenum had 43 passing yards. Late 3rd quarter, Keenum completed a 25 yard pass to Kenny Britt. Early 4th quarter, Keenum completed a 11 yard pass to Wes Welker and a 10 yard pass to Britt.

RB Todd Gurley, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 140 - 2, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)
Todd Gurley made an impact with a couple long runs and 2 touchdowns during the second half. Gurley had 16 rushes for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was Gurley's 5th 100 yard game of the season. During the opening series, Gurley caught a screen pass for a 7 yard reception. Gurley had a slow first half with 7 rushes for 13 yards. Mid 3rd quarter, Gurley ran off the left tackle for a 49 yard gain. On the play, Gurley broke an early tackle before he got behind the defense. A couple of plays later on 2nd and goal, Gurley ran around the left side of the line for a 5 yard touchdown run. On the play, Gurley dove stretching the ball over the goal line prior to being tackled. Late 3rd quarter, Gurley broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and ran for a 25 yard gain. Early 4th quarter, Gurley ran up the middle for a 9 yard gain. On the next play, Gurley ran up the middle and cut to the right sideline for a 15 yard touchdown run. On the play, Gurley dove and stretched the ball over the pylon for the touchdown. Late 4th quarter, Gurley ran to the left breaking a tackle for a 21 yard gain.

RB Tre Mason, 7 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 7 - 0, Rec: 2 - 1 - 0 (2 targets)
Tre Mason entered the game late 1st quarter taking a pitch for a 6 yard gain. Early 2nd quarter, Mason ran around the left side of the line for a 5 yard gain. Mid 4th quarter, Mason caught a screen pass for 3 yards.

RB Benny Cunningham, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 14 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)
Early 3rd quarter, Benny Cunningham caught a screen pass for a 7 yard reception. Mid 4th quarter, Cunningham ran up the middle for a 10 yard gain.

WR Tavon Austin, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 40 - 0, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (5 targets)
Tavon Austin was featured early in the game with four 1st quarter touches for 38 yards. Austin had 3 receptions on 5 targets for 19 yard with 4 rushes for 40 yards. During the opening series, Austin ran a curl-route for a 3 yard gain. A couple of plays later, Austin caught a screen pass for a 2 yard reception. Late 1st quarter, Austin ran in motion from left-to-right and took the handoff for a 20 yard gain. A few plays later Austin lined up in the backfield and ran to the left for a 13 yard gain. Late 2nd quarter, Austin ran a comeback-route for a 14 yard reception. Mid 3rd quarter, Austin ran an end-around for a 7 yard gain. Late 3rd quarter, Austin had a punt return for touchdown called back due to a holding penalty.

WR Kenny Britt, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 35 - 0 (5 targets)
Kenny Britt had 2 receptions on 5 targets for 35 yards. Late 3rd quarter, Britt ran a vertical-route and caught a jump-ball for a 25 yard reception. Early 4th quarter, Britt ran a slant-route for a 10 yard reception.

WR Wes Welker, 7 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)
Wes Welker ran 7 offensive snaps and had 1 reception on 2 targets for 11 yards. Early 4th quarter, Welker ran a slant-route for a 11 yard reception. It marked Welker's 900th career reception.

WR Brian Quick, 24 offensive snaps
Brian Quick played 24 offensive snaps and had 0 targets.

TE Jared Cook, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)
Jared Cook had 1 reception on 1 target for 11 yards. Late 2nd quarter, Cook ran an out-route for a 11 yard reception.

TE Lance Kendricks, 40 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Lance Kendricks played 40 offensive snaps and had 0 targets.