The Detroit Lions offensive issues are no secret, but how many wins would they have with even marginally better scoring output?
At 0-10-1 with multiple close setbacks, the Detroit Lions could have multiple wins by this point. But failures at key moments have hurt, as bad teams find ways to lose games.
While the defense has been pretty good lately, the Lions’ offense remains an issue. They still haven’t scored 20 points in a game since Week 1. While the run game has been solid, and better since head coach Dan Campbell took over play-calling, the passing game has been awful. And that might be putting it kindly, with bad quarterback play and a lack of proven talent at wide receiver the chicken-or-the-egg situation.
It’s safe to say the Lions could have won any or all of their last three games with average quarterback play, from a less than full strength Jared Goff or Tim Boyle. Goff looked as good as he could as the Lions’ quarterback on Thanksgiving Day, and it wasn’t enough.
How many wins would Lions have with an average offense?
Credit to Will Burchfield of 97.1 The Ticket/Audacy.com for the premise the Lions could be a playoff contender right now if they only had a mediocre offense. Former Lions’ offensive tackle TJ Lang had a concrete data point that showed it.
Indeed, if the Lions had managed to score 20 points in every game thus far they’d have five wins–over the Baltimore Ravens (Week 3), Minnesota Vikings (Week 5), Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 10), Cleveland Browns (Week 11) and Chicago Bears (Week 12). Yes, that means they’d be on a three-game winning streak right now.
A 5-6 mark, as noted by Burchfield, would have the Lions tied with the Washington Football Team for the final playoff spot in the NFC right now. They would lose a tiebreaker with Washington, but that a playoff spot would be a conversation if they were even a mediocre scoring offense is something.
Most things are hypothetical for a winless team that’s lined up to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft. But this particular hypothetical over how many wins they’d have if they could just score points at closer to an average level is as eye-opening (and obvious) as it is frustrating.