The Detroit Lions head to their Week 9 bye feeling pretty good about themselves after a win Monday night over the Las Vegas Raiders pushed their record to 6-2 on the season, the second best mark in the NFC after eight weeks.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell said the bye week comes at a perfect time for his football team with a chance to rest up, get healthy and look to make a playoff push the second half of the season.
Detroit has played pretty good football over the first two months of the season but there's always areas to improve. The coaches will go through a deep dive of the first two weeks and try to identify some of those areas.
Here's a look at five numbers where Detroit can stand to be better the second half of the season:
1. Number: 133.15
What it means: The combined passer rating for Geno Smith and Lamar Jackson in Detroit's two losses
NFL rank: No ranking
Twentyman: As the coaches take their deep dive into the first two months the two games that will probably jump out are Detroit's two losses to Seattle and Baltimore. What is the common theme in both defeats? One thing that jumps out to me was Detroit's inability to finish their pass rush.
Detroit's defense recorded 17 hurries of Smith in Week 2 and 16 against Jackson Week 7, per Pro Football Focus statistics. Those 35 combined hurries resulted in just one sack and two quarterback hits combined. The Lions have to find a way to finish at the quarterback more and marriage the rush and cover a little better.
2. Number: 0
What it means: The number of points the Lions have scored on their first possession of the second half.
NFL rank: Tied for 31st
Twentyman: With how good the Lions' offense has been all season this stat is a little bit of an anomaly. In the Lions' eight possessions to begin the second half this season they've punted six times, turned the ball over on a fumble and missed a field goal.
Houston is the only other team who hasn't scored a point on any first possession of the second half this season. It's something offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will no-doubt dive into over the bye week.
3. Number: 65.4 percent
What it means: Opponent red zone touchdown scoring efficiency
NFL rank: 27th
Twentyman: To me, the two biggest statistics that typically separate winning from losing are turnover differential and red zone scoring/defense. Can a team gain extra possessions via turnovers and can they add the extra four points to the scoreboard by scoring in the red zone and not settling for field goals. The only reason Monday night's win over Las Vegas was close was because Detroit wasn't good in either area.
Opponents are scoring a touchdown inside the red zone at a 65.4 percent clip this season. That comes out to 17 touchdowns in 26 drives. Teams have scored points 96.2 percent (25-of-26) of the time entering inside Detroit's 20-yard line, which is tied with Carolina for the highest percentage in the league. Detroit's turnover differential on the season is zero, meaning they have the same amount of turnovers (10) as they do takeaways (10).
4. Number: 6.5 percent
What it means: The percent of drops on catchable passes
NFL rank: 28th
Twentyman: Drops have plagued the Lions through the early portion of the season. Their 14 drops, per STATS INC, are the third most in the NFL behind only Kansas City (18) and the Los Angeles Rams (15).
5. Number: 458
What it means: Penalty yards against Lions
NFL rank: 29th
Twentyman: This is a little bit nitpicky but when a team is 6-2 and tied for the second best record in the NFL it's easier to find the good than it is the bad. Detroit's 46 penalties called against them is actually middle of the pack in the NFL, but the yards assessed are towards the bottom.
Detroit has the second most roughing the passer penalties in the league (4) and the second most offensive holding calls (13). Cornerback Jerry Jacobs leads Detroit with seven total penalties called on him (4 pass interference, 1 defensive holding, 1 neutral zone infraction and 1 illegal chop block).