With how effiecient the Detroit Lions were offensively last season, it's not a shock to see how proficient they were running the ball on 1st-and-10.
The Detroit Lions were one of the top offenses in the NFL last season all the way around, along with a league-low 15 turnovers. Quarterback Jared Goff will carry a streak of 324 pass attempts without an interception into this season.
We also know how effective Goff is as a play action passer, including a league-high 16 of his 29 touchdown passes last year coming off play-action according to Pro Football Focus. While it's true that an effective running game does not necessarily perfectly correlate to proficiency in the play action game, and a good ground game is not necessary to being good at play action, it definitely doesn't hurt.
Keeping Goff well protected and in situations where he can succeed was and will be a huge key to success for the Lions offense. Last season, both were well-accomplished.
Detroit Lions were very proficient on the ground on 1st-and-10 last season
Things happen to put you at a disadvantage offensively (penalties, negative plays on early downs, etc.). The best offenses minimize how often those things happen, and in one prominent way the Lions were very, very good last year.
Per Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire, who found the stats, the Lions ran the ball 216 times on 1st-and-10 last year, for 1,059 yards (4.9 yards per carry). The raw yardage and the yards per carry were eighth and ninth in the league respectively on 1st-and-10 last season. Those numbers were better than than the Lions' overall marks on the ground in 2022, as they were 11th in rushing yards and 15th in yards per carry.
As Risdon noted, having a mobile quarterback helped the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears be the top three teams in yards per carry on 1st-and-10 last year, all topping 5.1 YPC. The Lions of course don't have a mobile signal caller, as Goff had 10 carries for 26 yards on 1st-and-10 last season.
Getting nearly halfway to moving the chains, on average, on 1st-and-10 last year set the Lions on a positive track offensively last year. With an upgraded top running back duo, that should at least be maintained this year. And it could even improve a bit.