Lions snap counts: Joique Bell keeps pounding
Detroit — With Reggie Bush missing the last three games, the Lions' already-tepid running game has been shorthanded with only Joique Bell and Theo Riddick.
In Thursday's 34-17 win over the Bears, Bell again saw the majority of the snaps, with 46 of 73 (63 percent) and was the only back to get any carries. Theo Riddick was in on 26 snaps (36 percent) and George Winn one.
It's a similar split to last Sunday's game against the Patriots, but the backs were used differently, as Bell had 23 carries for a season-high 91 yards against Chicago. The commitment to the run was critical to adding some variety to the offensive game. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was sharp, with a season-best 390 passing yards, and Bell's runs kept the Bears defense honest.
"We stuck to it; you keep pounding and pounding and eventually something is going to open up," Bell said. "We were able to make some big runs toward the end."
Riddick played the Bush role of backfield receiver, with six catches on seven targets for 54 yards. Bell added two catches for 16 yards.
Bell got most of his backfield production on the final offensive drive, when he accumulated 48 yards while trying to help the Lions run out the clock.
"We wanted to get him 100 (yards) — at the end of the game, we kind of realized it," said Cornelius Lucas, who started at left tackle for the injured Riley Reiff. "It wasn't a plan but it would have been something nice to do, because Joique's been working hard for us all year."
OTHER NOTABLE SNAP COUNTS
Tight end: Brandon Pettigrew 44 (of 73), Eric Ebron 42, Joseph Fauria 8.
Analysis: Ebron is becoming a bigger part of the offensive game plan, with three catches for 23 yards. He had hurdled a defender after a catch early in the game and only had one drop. Pettigrew caught a screen pass on his only target and Fauria was just inches away from scoring after being stopped near the goal line. With Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate combining for 19 catches, there weren't many other opportunities for the tight ends.
Cornerback: Rashean Mathis 64 (of 64), Darius Slay 64, Cassius Vaughn 46.
Analysis: Vaughn was in for a large number of nickel-back situations and didn't make mistakes, as he did against Arizona and New England in the past two weeks.
Linebacker: DeAndre Levy 64, Tahir Whitehead 47, Josh Bynes 17, Ashlee Palmer 13, Kyle Van Noy 5.
Analysis: Whitehead and Bynes split snaps and when they weren't in nickel situations, Palmer and Van Noy shared time.