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Jets vs. Lions: A Concentrated Passing Game

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have a new offensive coaching staff this season. It is still early in the season, perhaps too early to take a trend like this seriously, but their offense is heavily utilizing its top four targets in the passing game.

The top four Lions targets, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Reggie Bush, and Joique Bell have been recipients of 84 out of Detroit's 114 passing targets. That puts them a shade under 74%. By comparison, Detroit's top four last year only were targeted 61% of the time.

Interestingly the tight ends in Detroit have not been a very big part of the passing game. Brandon Pettigrew is not a great pass catcher, but he has a trio of 59 catch seasons. He has only been targeted three times. Highly touted rookie Eric Ebron has only 8 targets.

So this offense's predictability might make it a tad easier to scheme against. Bush and Bell come out of the backfield. Tate is in the slot over 60% of the time, and Johnson is on the outside. Of course this is easier said than done. These are all talented targets. One of the guys they are forcing the ball to more also happens to be the best receiver on the planet.

(Numbers taken from ESPN and further crunched.)