Dropped passes have become a major problem for the Lions' receiving corps. Not just the
rookies and young players, but for the veterans as well.
In the loss to the Chicago Bears, quarterback Joey Harrington would have been 29-for-40
and probably would have kept at least one early drive alive if his receivers had simply
caught balls that hit them in the hands or the chest.
By unofficial count, the Lions had six drops in the Chicago game -- two by wide
receiver Az-Zahir Hakim and one each by running backs Olandis Gary and Shawn Bryson, tight
end Mikhael Ricks and wide receiver Scotty Anderson.
Wide receiver Shawn Jefferson didn't have a drop but he has a feeling for why his
teammates might be struggling to hang onto the football.
"Being lax in concentration," Jefferson said. "Also, sometimes you're
really not sure. As players we have to read defenses and it's our job to know what a
defense is in when the football is snapped. That way we know where we fit in the defense.
I think often times it's a combination of things.
"I'm not saying by any stretch of the imagination that guys are not prepared.
We're prepared. We are so prepared when we go to play these games. It's just up to each
individual and -- team-wise -- we have to buckle down.
"If it takes us -- when the ball is thrown -- looking it all the way in, making
sure we catch it before we even take one step with it, so be it. I think that's most of
the problem now; we're trying to run with it before we get it."
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 of 7 -- Number of games in which the Lions have taken an early lead,
yet they have not won a game since the season opener against Arizona. They took -- but
quickly relinquished -- the lead in games against Minnesota, Denver and the Dallas Cowboys.