LIONS INSIDER

It was good to be offensive coordinator Scott Linehan on Sunday

Posted Nov 6, 2012

Since 2009, Scott Linehan has coached 57 games as the Lions’ offensive coordinator, but said none of the previous 56 were as fun for him as Sunday's in Jacksonville.

Not even the Cleveland game in 2009 when quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 422 yards and five touchdowns and won the game with no time left on the clock.

Note even last season's playoff-clinching victory over the Chargers at Ford Field, when the Lions put up 38 points on 440 yards of offense and Stafford completed 80 percent of his passes for a quarterback rating of 137.6.

Didn't compare to Sunday, according to Linehan.

"It was one of the most fun games I've coached since I've been here," he told Detroitlions.com.

"We've had some great games, some exciting games, thrown for 5,000 yards, but since I've been here I've never sat there and every run I call I'm just expected big yards. That's just how it felt. The more we ran it, the stronger we got. That was a good step for us."

With Stafford at the helm and Calvin Johnson and Co. on the outside, it's no surprise the Lions are considered a passing a team. Let’s face it: the Lions have had the best chance to win over Linehan’s first three seasons when Stafford has the ball in his hands.

But the Lions proved Sunday they are capable of running the football - they've been proving it the last few weeks, actually - and Linehan showed he’s more than happy to lean on it when he can.

"It's steadily improving each week," he said. "We're getting the personalities of the guys we're going with Mikel (Leshoure) and Joique (Bell) now starting to hit their stride. It's kind of a 1-2 combination.

"Those guys are starting to heat up and our O-line just gets confidence with every game they played."

The Lions are the No. 2 offense in the league, averaging more than 410 yards per game. They’re the only team in the NFL averaging more than 300 yards passing (307.3) and 100 yards rushing (103.6) per game.

Linehan said there was nothing better than calling the plays on the Lions' second-to-last possession Sunday when they went 80 yards in nine plays to put the game away, with only three of those being pass plays - including one running back screen.

"Every play was efficient on the drive," he said. "One third down conversion to Broyles. Every other play was either a first down or a efficient first down run."

The drive was capped off with a 10-yard touchdown run by Bell.

"You're blocking them good when you don't have the back lose a yard in the game," Linehan said of the 32-designed run plays that did not result in a single loss. "You're establishing the line of scrimmage up front. I thought our line and tight ends did a great job of that."

The Lions are proving that it’s not all fun-and-gun, and Linehan is just fine with that.