The bye week is a reflection point for NFL teams. What have we done well? What can we do better? How can we get the best out of players? Coming out of last week's bye, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell noted what his team needs to refine moving forward.
"I think the obvious are the turnover-takeaway ratio, we need to be better both sides. Red zone, both sides. And there's a number of reasons behind that I'm not going to get into. Then, third quarter production or lack thereof. I think those are the three things we kind of came away with. There's other areas, but those were the big ones collectively as a team."
Even with a 6-2 record, and a schedule that lines up for a strong stretch run, the Lions have not had what you might call a complete game yet. The ebbs and flows of a game keep that as an elusive concept.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, quarterback Jared Goff tentatively pointed to the Week 5 win over the Carolina Panthers as a proverbial "complete game", and the only game so far he'd put in that category.
Jared Goff notes how Lions' offense has a lot of improvement to still make
"I think there's a lot of meat on the bone, both for offense and defense," Goff said. "I'm sure they'd say the same thing that where we feel like maybe the Carolina game was a complete game, but other than that, I don't know if we've really had one. And how do we get closer to that as the season comes to an end, and no reason to not start this week and try to put together a complete game this week as well."
The Lions have the NFL's No. 2 offense by total yardage, and they're top-10 in rushing, passing and scoring. But they are just 24th in red zone touchdown proficiency (48.1 percent), they're middle of the pack in third down conversion rate (40.7 percent) and they are the only team in the NFL who hasn't scored a single point in their opening possession of the second half all season. They have been outscored in the third quarter 38-28 this season.
Having some key pieces healthy and together down the stretch will help the Lions' offense fix some of its shortcomings, particularly in the red zone. That's a dangerous though for upcoming opponents.