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O'HARA: What we learned from Week 9

Head coach Dan Campbell had his eye on the red zone during the Detroit Lions' bye week.

It started in practice before the players took their break last Wednesday and continued in the self-scouting Campbell did before returning to the Allen Park headquarters Monday.

Campbell was concerned with how the Lions performed on both sides of the ball in the red zone.We also learned in his Monday press conference how he plans to get more production from quarterback Jared Goff.

With the Lions idle, we also learned that there are no sure things in the NFL when it looks like one team is overmatched and that Mock drafts are starting to come out with higher volume.

We start with Campbell's eye on offense and the red zone:

The statistics show glaring weaknesses that have contributed heavily to the Lions' 0-8 won-loss record.

The Lions rank 29th in points scored with 134, and 30th with 244 points allowed.

In the red-zone efficiency, the defense ranks last, giving up a touchdown 93 percent of the time when the opponent has reached the 20-yard line.

The offense ranks 30th, scoring a touchdown only 50 percent of the time after reaching the 20.

"Both sides of the ball, we certainly need work in the red zone," Campbell said. "It's still something that's pretty glaring.

"We worked on it last week for a couple of days."

Campbell wants the offense to be more aggressive in getting the ball downfield to the receivers. That won't be easy, given the size of the players: Kalif Raymond is 5-8 and Amon-Ra St. Brown an even 6 feet.

"We're going to need to find a way to pull the trigger on some of those one-on-ones," Campbell said. "Whether we design it that way, you've got to win (the matchups).

"He (Goff) certainly has the arm and accuracy to do it. It's something we need to work at. It's everybody."

Sure bets: If there was a sure bet in Week 9 it was that the Bills (5-2) would beat the Jaguars (1-6). Didn't work that way, though. Final score: Jags 9, Bills 6.

Another sure thing: Cowboys (6-1) at home over Broncos (4-4 and staggering after a 3-0 start). Another one that didn't go as planned. Broncos 30, Cowboys 16.

Bengals (5-3) at home over a Browns team (4-4) in turmoil? Browns 41, Bengals 16.

Mock time: The 2022 NFL Draft is more than five months away, but as we learn every year it is never too soon for mock drafts to sprout up.

At this point I'd consider them more fun than fact, as there's a lot of football left for the colleges and pros to change player ratings and team needs.

That includes the Lions.

CBS Sports has posted mock drafts by four different writers since Nov. 1.

Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon is picked to go first overall by three writers and second by a fourth.

Next off the board is offensive tackle Evan Neal of Alabama. Cornerback Derek Stingley of LSU is No. 3, with safety Kyle Hamilton of Notre Dame No. 4.

I wouldn't rush out to buy a team jersey for any player this early, but I also wouldn't discourage anyone from following the mock drafts. If nothing else, they're fun.

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