Quarterback Jared Goff is working to find answers for why the Detroit Lions' offense has gotten on a roll at times this season but at other times has been slow to get started or hit the brakes.
There is no easy solution – and no easy opponent to find it against today as the Lions face the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Last week's 19-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was an example of the inconsistency that has troubled the offense.
The Lions scored all of their points in the second half, getting a touchdown in the third quarter and a touchdown and field goal in the fourth. That ended a four-quarter drought without a point – from the second half of the previous week's game with the Packers through the first half against the Ravens.
"I don't know if it's one thing," Goff said of what causes the breakdowns. "It's always a multitude of things. Sometimes it's penalties. Sometimes it's lack of execution. Sometimes the defense plays well."
The three scores came on three straight possessions – 75 yards on 11 plays and 75 yards on 12 plays for the TDs, and 62 yards on nine plays for the field goal.
"When it works, it feels great, man," Goff said. "That's the way it's supposed to go. That's what we hope to get to pretty soon here.
"It's all momentum. It's part of the game. Every team has it that way. You start moving the ball. You start throwing completions. You start running the ball. It kind of builds momentum for the rest of the game.
"It tends to lead to good things."
Bears facts: The Lions faced a good defensive front in the opener with the 49ers, and the Bears might be better. The Bears rank third in the league with 11 sacks.
"This might be the best front seven we've seen all year, and may be the best front we're going to see," said offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.
"They do a good job on the edge with Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, and inside with Mario Edwards coming back and Akiem Hicks.
"They can get you from inside or outside."
Sack stats: The Bears didn't get to the Lions' quarterback very often in their two games last year: One sack in the opener at Ford Field, and two at Soldier Field Week 13.
Trench warfare: Lions Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow vs. Bears 336-pound defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is a battle to watch.
"Oh man, he's massive and moves pretty well," Ragnow said when asked about the matchup with Hicks.
"He's quick, and he plays hard. I played against Akiem enough that I think there's not really anything that's going to surprise me."
Bears-Lions connection: A bright spot in the Bears' search for a quarterback is from former Lions quarterback Erik Kramer.
Best known to Lions fans for leading the team to the 1991 division title and a playoff win over the Cowboys, Kramer holds the Bears' franchise record for passing yards in a season with 3,838.
In an era when the NFL is a passing league, the Bears have never had a 4,000-yard season.
Rising role: Kalif Raymond couldn't have expected to be Goff's go-to receiver last week, but he produced when he got the opportunity. Raymond had six catches on 10 targets for 68 yards. In the first two games combined he had 68 yards on five catches and six targets.
"When the opportunity comes to you – because it will – be ready for it," Raymond said.
Rookie starter: Rookie Derrick Barnes had played only five defensive snaps before last week's game. He made his first start at middle linebacker and played 28 snaps.
Barnes showed real promise that he can be the starter of the present and future.
What impressed him the most?
"The speed of the game," he said – answering quickly. "It was a little quick for my first time being there. As the game went on, I got used to it."
Lions-Bears matchup: This is one game where the Lions have a clear advantage at quarterback. Goff vs. whoever starts and plays for the Bears is an advantage for the Lions. The Lions have gotten better in the first three games. It's time for that advantage to show up on the scoreboard.
Pick: Lions 23, Bears 13.