Despite getting a win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Thursday night's season opener, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell directly said there was a lot to clean up. And he is not wrong. There were lapses in the defensive secondary, at times bailed out by Chiefs' wide receivers being unable to catch the ball.
Offensively, 14 points and going just 5-for-15 on third down stood out. Even the 368 yards the Lions put up would have been their 10th-best yardage output last year. In a tough road environment it was not an awful offensive performance, it just wasn't the expected peak form or anywhere close to it. And there's the case for having the offensive starters play a little in the preseason, for those who'd like to make it.
Per Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, the Lions had the eighth-fastest paced offense in the NFL last season. They ran 70 plays on Thursday night, so we'll see where that lands in terms of pace when Week 1 finishes.
Dan Campbell cites No.1 thing he wants to see Lions offense do better
On Friday, head coach Dan Campbell cited the "correctable issues" he sees for the Lions after Week 1. On offense he noted the lack of third down efficiency, obviously, but he started with another thing atop the list for that side of the ball (h/t to SI.com).
"Probably offensively, (the biggest thing to clean up) is the tempo. Man, we’ve got to improve our tempo. That’s probably (at the) top of the list right now and then third down offensively,” "
With some notable new skill position players and joint practices being the only significant action together for all the starters during the preseason, the Lions' offense was going to have some kinks to work out in the first game of the season. Add in the environment at Arrowhead, and there's another layer of difficulty. Campbell expects better from here on out, and he should see it without too much issue.