ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — If there was a simple means for the Detroit Lions to resolve their points close to the aim line, they in all probability would have executed it by now.

As an alternative, these issues have the Lions falling behind within the playoff race.

Regardless of three second-half alternatives contained in the Pittsburgh 10-yard line, Detroit was held with no landing in a 20-15 loss Sunday night time. It was the second time this season the Lions misplaced largely due to their incapability to achieve the tip zone from in shut, and whether or not the play-calling or the execution is extra in charge, Detroit now has some actual missed alternatives to look again on.

“There is not any magic to it,” coach Jim Caldwell mentioned Monday. “It is simply strictly working at what you are doing and getting higher. Execution’s obtained to be higher. We did not execute in addition to we’re succesful.”

The Lions (Three-Four) have misplaced three in a row, and Sunday’s sport was actually there for the taking. Detroit completed with 482 yards of offense however no touchdowns.

“I believe if we would put it in the long run zone, you’d name this a breakout efficiency,” quarterback Matthew Stafford mentioned. “We obtained contained in the 10 and did not put the ball in the long run zone for one cause or one other. However from 20 to 20, we had been enjoying pretty much as good of soccer as we’ve this 12 months I believe.”

In September, the Lions misplaced to Atlanta when Golden Tate was dominated down simply wanting what may have been a game-winning landing. Down 30-26, the Lions had first-and-goal on the 1. Stafford threw incomplete twice earlier than his completion to Tate was dominated wanting the tip zone after a overview, ending the sport .

That sequence illustrated the perils of pbading out of the shotgun on the aim line — it is typically tough as a result of the protection has restricted area to cowl. However the clock was an element and the Lions had been out of timeouts, limiting their choices a bit.

In opposition to the Steelers, Detroit tried operating the ball close to the aim line, however that did not work both. The Lions’ operating sport is ranked close to the underside of the league.

“We now have to have a decent operating sport, make groups honor it,” Caldwell mentioned.

The Lions had first-and-goal from the Four within the third quarter, with the Steelers up 13-12. A run by Dwayne Washington reached the 1, then Stafford threw incomplete and Washington was stopped on one other run. Detroit went for it on fourth down from the 1 and had a cross known as from the shotgun, however Stafford tried to run the ball in after seeing what number of Pittsburgh gamers had been again in protection. He was stopped.

On their subsequent possession, the Lions once more had first-and-goal from the Four. After an incompletion, Detroit tried a pair operating performs with Washington however did not rating. The Lions lastly settled for a subject aim.

Late within the fourth quarter, Detroit was again contained in the 10, however on that drive, the Lions by no means obtained nearer than the 6 earlier than turning the ball over on downs.

“The very fact of the matter is we have to have the ability to get it in a technique or one other,” Caldwell mentioned after the sport. “We tried a number of other ways and we obtained to maintain making an attempt. I believe we’re succesful.”

NOTES: DT A’Shawn Robinson was ejected following a skirmish on the finish of the sport whereas the Steelers had been kneeling out the clock. “While you’re improper, you are improper. Clearly, he was penalized, ejected from the sport, in order that’s a problem,” Caldwell mentioned. “There’s three guys that ran out onto the sector, that is a problem. So, these are the issues we obtained to deal with. We’re not going to face for it. … We wish to play this sport the best way it is speculated to be performed and shedding your poise will not be a type of issues. So, we’ll deal with that. We’ll deal with it in home and definitely the league could have one thing to say about it as effectively.” … P Sam Martin performed for the primary time this season after being on the non-football damage checklist. He didn’t specify how he obtained damage. “I wasn’t doing something silly,” Martin mentioned. “It is a freak accident. It is not even definitely worth the story.” … The Lions put G Tim Lelito (thigh) on injured reserve and signed DE Jacquies Smith.

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