It’s a legitimate question, unfortunately Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and Co. haven't had an answer going on seven weeks now.
The Lions are moving the football - they rank fourth in the NFL in total offense - they just aren’t scoring. It’s like the end zone is Fort Knox and the Lions haven’t had clearance for entry.
It’s little coincidence the Lions have led in only one game after the first quarter this season and have yet to lead at the half in any game. No real surprise they’re 2-4?
The Lions have had success in the fourth quarter this season when they’ve gone to a more up-tempo style of offense when forced to make plays in small amounts of time coming back from a deficit. It usually coincides with the defense’s willingness to give up completions and plays underneath in an attempt to use the clock to their advantage.
It begs the question, though: Why don’t the Lions use the no huddle or up-tempo offense earlier in games? Maybe they'd stumble onto something?
The Patriots have been successful with it this season and other teams have shown it to be effective. It allows the quarterback to get into a rhythm and Stafford has seemed to thrive in it late in games.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just deciding to go up-tempo. Playing that kind of style can wear down an offensive line not prepared for it. The teams that run the up-tempo style - like the Patriots and Broncos - have younger and more athletic offensive lineman.
If there’s a word to describe the Lions offensive line it probably isn’t athletic. Maybe experienced or powerful, but the unit isn't overly athletic.
That type of up-tempo offense can take a toll on a unit through the course of a game. Unless a team has prepared for it outside of a two-minute situation, or 15 minutes in a game. It can’t be as easy as just flipping a switch.
“Well we went to no-huddle a lot earlier in the game,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Monday’s 13-7 loss at the Bears. “Again, failed to capitalize on the opportunities.
“Up-tempo, huddle, whatever it was … we had more physical errors than we had tempo problems.”
Schwartz was no doubt referencing the three red zone turnovers by the Lions.
It seems to me the Lions need to just execute better on offense when they have chances to score like limit drops, turnovers and bad throws. They do that and they'll score more points.