Detroit Lions: 10 observations from Sunday’s loss to Colts

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /
5 of 6
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

8. There are a lot of misleading numbers about the Lions’ offense

To be specific, numbers that make it appear like they’re playing a lot better than they really are. A few of them:

Matthew Stafford was 24-42 for 336 yards and 3 touchdowns vs the Colts. Looks like a huge day, but the offense was never in rhythm, he took five sacks, still refuses to throw the ball away and live to see another down, and his turnovers blew the game wide open to start the fourth quarter.

The Lions have scored 21+ points in all of the first seven games, just the third time in franchise history to do so. But not much more. They’ve hit exactly 21 points twice, 23 twice, and have only topped 30 one time. Everything seems so difficult to come by, and very rarely does this unit look unstoppable. This is a cute stat, but not remotely close to one of Detroit’s better offenses in team history, even in my lifetime.

The Lions have scored first in all seven games so far, the only team in the NFL to do so. But what do they do for the rest of the game?

As of two weeks ago, the offensive line was ranked first in the league in run blocking. That’s the Pro Football Focus advanced analytics making that call. With the Lions’ rushing attack still nowhere near the top half of the league, that’s either a flawed evaluation tool, or the Lions’ running backs are playing even worse than I thought.