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Sunday, September 11, 2011
Lions controlling clock, if nothing else

By Kevin Seifert

TAMPA, Fla. -- Here is something to consider as the Detroit Lions trail the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6 after the first quarter of the season: On a hot and humid day, the Lions ran 25 of the first 28 offensive plays and held the ball for 12 minutes, 52 seconds of the first quarter.

The temperature has hit 89 degrees with a 93-degree heat index.

The Lions only have six points to show for two long drives and have made a few more mistakes than they would have liked. The two most egregious: Tight end Brandon Pettigrew dropped a touchdown pass and tight end Will Heller inadvertently tipped a pass into the hands of Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, resulting in a 28-yard interception return.

But the Lions' heavy first-quarter possession should only help them as the game continues. Their defense is rested, while the Bucs' has worked pretty hard already in this heat.