- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
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The numbers are, frankly, staggering.
Detroit has the best third-down defense in the NFL, yielding conversions just 21.3 percent of the time this season.
Even Lions coach Jim Schwartz was impressed with that number.
“We certainly spent a lot of time on third down and we want to get off the field on third down,” Schwartz said Monday. “It’s just the rate we’re going at now is pretty tough to sustain.
“We have guys that rush. We have some guys in the back end that can get the ball. We have some guys that have played pretty smart and matched up routes. I think the combination of the two, we have blitzed from time-to-time I think that’s been effective when we have.”
Third down defense is merely one reason why Detroit is 3-1. Here are some other interesting numbers contributing to the Lions’ 40-32 win Sunday over the Bears. Statistics and figures from ESPN Stats & Information were used in compiling this post. Follow ESPN Stats & Information on Twitter @ESPNStatsInfo
121 -- Yards gained by Reggie Bush on Sunday between the tackles.
81 -- Percentage of Bush’s rushes this season between the tackles, at 5.7 yards gained per rush.
8.9 -- Average yards needed for a first down for Chicago on third downs Sunday.
1 -- Third downs converted by Chicago on Sunday in 13 attempts.
9.8 -- percent of the time Detroit blitzed Jay Cutler on Sunday, the lowest blitz percentage in the NFL last week.
5 -- Targets to wide receivers other than Calvin Johnson (Johnson had 10).
20 -- Targets to Detroit’s running backs and tight ends.
2.36 -- Points per offensive drive for Detroit.
28.4 -- Average yards gained per drive for the Lions. This is somewhat skewed because the Lions only had an average of 57.1 yards to go for a touchdown Sunday.
46.7 -- Percentage Chicago went three-and-out on Sunday against Detroit.
The numbers are, frankly, staggering.Detroit has the best third-down defense in the NFL, yielding conversions just 21.3 percent of the time this season.