Amid a 3-1 start to the season, there's not a lot to quarrel with regarding the Detroit Lions. Offensively, they're top-10 in the league in scoring and total offense, nicely balanced between being a top-10 passing and rushing offense. Six giveaways are a bit of a thing, but it's not a huge deal.
In terms of scoring, the Lions have done better in the first half (61 points) than the second half (45) this season. The offense has seemed to stagnate, going 3-and-out three times in four first drives of the second half, with a David Montgomery fumble in the other opening drive of the second half. On the flip side, the Lions have authored closing drives in the fourth quarter of all three of their wins.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson acknowledged the issue on drives to open the second half (h/t to SI.com).
Ben Johnson acknowledges 'big deal' issue with Lions' offense
"There is a plenty of data. It's a big deal, because it was a problem last year," said Johnson. "It's one that we haven't been able to fix yet. We are certainly aware of it as a coaching staff. The players are aware of it. And so, it's something that we're looking to improve. There's a number of ways we're tackling that right now."
Opening drives of the second half can be momentum shifters, either to keep your own going from a first half or to squash momentum the other team has built late in a first half. In Week 4, the Packers made a bit of a comeback to make the game interesting before the Lions had a nearly nine-minute drive in the fourth quarter to make it a moot point. But Johnson knows the game could have been put of reach sooner, in the third quarter even.
It's refreshing that the Lions can focus on fixing littler things, rather than big picture issues that have in the past been rooted in a lack of talent. Opening second halves with better offensive proficiency is one piece of the next step.