Lions look to get a grip on problem with dropped passes

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Among the myriad issues plaguing the Detroit Lions, on both sides of the ball, the team is currently leading the NFL in dropped pass rate.

Through eight games, the Lions have put 21 passes on the ground, second only to the Dallas Cowboys. But because the Lions have attempted 99 fewer passes, the team's 7.2% drop rate is worse. 

Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift couldn't hang onto a touchdown pass in the season opener.

Running back D'Andre Swift is pacing the Lions with four dropped passes, including the most notable, bumbling a likely game-winning touchdown in the season opener. Seven other Lions players have dropped at least two passes. 

"That's something that we're working on, obviously, each and every day," Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Tuesday. "But we do a lot of drills to continue to focus on that. You know, it does come down to concentration and focusing all the way through.

"We had a couple there at the end of the game (against Minnesota) that were kind of uncharacteristic, and even a couple of other ones during the season. Something that we're focusing on each and every day."

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The last time the Lions led the NFL in drop rate was 2013. After placing additional emphasis on correcting the issue, the team was among the most sure-handed in the league two years later.

Detroit's lofty drop rate has contributed to Matthew Stafford's lower-than-normal completion percentage. Through the first half of the season, he's completing 62.6% of his passes. That's in line with his career average, but is on track for his lowest single-season mark since 2014.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers