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Sunday, November 24, 2013
Three halftime thoughts from Lions-Bucs

By Michael Rothstein

DETROIT -- Some thoughts from the first half of the Detroit Lions-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, which the Bucs lead 17-14 at the half.

Return of Burleson: Nate Burleson has said for a couple of weeks that he planned on coming back and trying to pick up right where he left off, which was a 116-yard game against Washington in Week 3. He’s well on his way to proving that right after a massive first half.

Burleson was Detroit’s most-targeted receiver in the first half, catching five passes for 67 yards and his first touchdown of the season, one that resulted in a pizza delivery touchdown celebration. Burleson was targeted one more time than Calvin Johnson, who had six attempts.

A little more pressure: Detroit has two first-half sacks, one from Ziggy Ansah, who is in his first game back after suffering an ankle injury against Dallas in October. The other came on a rare blitz from the Lions, where Glover Quin sacked Mike Glennon for a 13-yard loss.

Otherwise, there hasn’t been much pressure on Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon, a continuation of the same issues the Lions have had throughout much of the season with their four-man rush. There has been limited rushing success today but nothing really strong.

Cornerback conundrum: In part due to the issues with pressure on the defensive line, Detroit’s cornerbacks have struggled throughout the day. Rashean Mathis had an awful drive in the second quarter, being beat in coverage on a 47-yard pass to Vincent Jackson and then again on a touchdown pass from Glennon to Tiquan Underwood. The Lions have had cornerback issues for a good portion of the season as well and it showed again against Tampa Bay.

Consider this -- Glennon finished the first half 9 of 11 for 132 yards, a touchdown, no interceptions and a 147.0 quarterback rating. That’s just not good for Detroit’s defense.