5 Numbers That Tell the Story Of the Lions-Broncos Game

Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing (USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Lions went to Mile High Stadium in search of their second win in as many weeks. Things didn’t start according to plan for Dan Campbell and Co. as they went into the second quarter already trailing by two touchdowns.

Despite a strong comeback in the second quarter that saw them cut the lead to seven at halftime, the Detroit Lions could not capitalize on any positive momentum in the second half. They were outscored 21-0 in the final 30 minutes and lost 38-10.

Here are five numbers that tell the story of Detroit’s loss to the Denver Broncos.


The game started rather emotionally. The Denver Broncos ran their first play from scrimmage with just 10 men on the field in honor of Demaryius Thomas, who passed away on Thursday. This heart-touching tribute was met by an ovation from the home crowd. It was a classy move by the Broncos as they let the play clock wind down to 0 and took a delay of game penalty.

The Lions and Dan Campbell did not accept the penalty, which was met with appreciation from Broncos’ head coach Vic Fangio. “I talked to Dan Campbell, and he agreed not to accept the penalty,” Fangio said, “a classy move on his part … and the Detroit Lions, they’re a classy organization.”


The Lions could not get to Teddy Bridgewater, only mustering 2 pressures the entire game. 3 of the 5 Broncos’ offensive linemen allowed a pressure rate of 0, and the 2 that didn’t have a pressure rate below 8 percent.

The Broncos’ offensive line won the battle at the line of scrimmage all day and gave Bridgewater plenty of time to go through his progressions. With the season-ending in less than a month and the Lions likely holding the No. 1 overall pick, the debate between Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux will be one Lions fans should keep an eye on. One of these two great edge rushers will likely be in Detroit next season.


Amon-Ra St. Brown looks to have solidified himself as the clear No. 1 wideout in the Lions offense as he received 11 targets. Coming into the season, we all knew that Detroit’s wideout corps lacked any of the big names that the other NFC North teams had. Every one of their receivers was playing to carve out a roster spot in the future.

St. Brown finished the day with 8 grabs for 73 yards to add to his impressive rookie season. St. Brown has already crossed 500 yards this season on 57 grabs. If he continues this trajectory, he could be a future WR1 for this team.


Craig Reynolds has stepped up in D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams‘ absence and put up 83 yards on 11 carries. With the Lions missing their top two running backs, this would be a big week for Reynolds and Godwin Igwebuike to solidify themselves as the third running back. Reynolds seized the opportunity and put on a show: 72 of his 83 yards came after contact.

On the other hand, Igwebuike didn’t have as great of an afternoon. He ran for 25 yards on 8 carries and put the ball on the ground in a crucial moment. With the Lions being eliminated from playoff contention, it would be interesting to see if they rest Swift for next season and give more reps to Igwebuke and Reynolds.


The Lions run defense put up a less than stellar performance on Sunday, allowing 184 yards to Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. The Broncos leaned on their run game, handing it off 39 times and averaging 4.7 yards on the ground. Though the Lions prevented the big play through the ground – the longest run was a 16 carry by Gordon – the two-back tandem still did their damage and wore on a tired Lions front.

With the Broncos jumping out to an early lead, they could control the clock and pound the ball down Detroit’s throats. The combination of Williams and Gordon was able to get better as the game went on and made life difficult for the Lions’ front-4 and linebacker core.

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