Breaking Down the Lions' Offensive Efficiency

Logan Lamorandier

The Lions' offense has been under fire after a Week 6 loss to the Green Bay Packers. 

While the Lions could only muster one touchdown to go along with five Matt Prater field goals, it's worth looking into just how efficient the offense has been so far this year.

First, let's look at some of the bright spots.

In the turnover department, Detroit has done a relatively good job of protecting the football. Matthew Stafford & Co. are currently tied for the sixth-fewest turnovers (6) in the NFL.

They also have been solid in converting at least one first down per drive. 

Only seven drives have resulted in a 3-and-out -- tied for second-fewest in the league. That's 11.5 percent of their drives, which is good for a top-three ranking in the NFL.

On a per drive basis, nothing has been spectacular. 

The Lions average 5.91 plays per drive -- 17th-best in the NFL. They also average 2:44 for time of possession, which ranks 16th overall. 

Continuing with the mediocrity, the Lions average 31.72 yards per drive, which is only 18th-best among all 32 NFL franchises.

As many have probably noticed, most of the offensive production has come through the air. 

Stafford is averaging the league's fourth-highest yards per completion rate at 13.1 yards. 

Meanwhile, the Lions are averaging just 3.8 rushing yards per attempt -- 26th in the league -- which has led to a middling offense, as a whole, for the team in 2019. 

That's nothing new to Lions fans, though. It's been the same story for the past 15 years.

Not that the offense deserves a ton of credit for the following stat, but the Detroit offense's average starting field position is sixth-best in the league. 

In theory, a shorter field equals less yards to have to gain. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you would hope it leads to more points. That's not necessarily the case, however. 

The Lions' average of 1.96 points per drive lands them at No. 18 -- the definition of a mid-tier output.

Perhaps the biggest complaint with the offense has been red-zone efficiency and for good reason. 

The Lions are converting their red-zone opportunities into touchdowns at a 50 percent clip, which ranks just 23rd in the league. In contrast, the top red-zone offenses are scoring touchdowns more than 70 percent of the time.

In the red zone, Stafford is tied for the 15th-most pass attempts, and also tied for the 15th-most touchdowns for quarterbacks. 

Relatively, for his number of attempts, he is right where he should be for number of touchdowns.

The same can't be said about the run game near the goal line. 

Lions No. 1 back Kerryon Johnson has taken 78.9 percent of Detroit's red-zone carries -- the second-highest percentage in the NFL this season. 

Yet, he has just two touchdowns on 15 carries, and is averaging a middling 1.6 yards per carry inside the red zone.

At the same time, it's important to note that yards per carry averages are usually lower inside the red zone. 

However, of the 16 NFL running backs that have had at least 14 red-zone carries in 2019, Johnson has the second-lowest amount of rushing yards.

Looking closely at all the offensive numbers, the Lions have plenty to improve upon. 

They aren't the worst in the league, but they definitely aren't the best, either. 

It's not like I needed to tell you that, but the stats definitely coincide with a lot of fans' complaints surrounding the Lions' offense.

More: Scouting Report on Vikings Defensive End Everson Griffen

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