For the third time this season, the Lions allowed at least 37 points in a game. This time around Dan Campbell’s team was able to get away with it. That’s because coordinator Ben Johnson’s offense rolled up 533 total yards on 64 plays (8.3 average), almost perfectly balanced between rushing (31) and passing (33). Detroit needed every yard, and Riley Patterson’s 41-yard field goal at the gun allowed the well-rested Lions to escape with a victory.
It is a team that still has some flaws, especially on defense. A balanced offense has made life easier for quarterback Jared Goff. Campbell’s club has also learned to win on the road (4-1). Five of the team’s final eight games are divisional clashes, including a pair with the Vikings (Weeks 16 and 18). The Lions’ last division title came in 1993.
Midseason Grade: A-
At this time a year ago, the eventual Super Bowl LVII champion Chiefs owned a 7-2 record. After nine games last season, the team had totaled 270 points and their offensive unit produced 33 touchdowns. This year, the win-loss mark is identical. However, Andy Reid’s club has scored only 204 points and there have been 12 fewer offensive TDs (21). Turnovers were a bit of an issue in 2022 and this season, the club has already given up the ball 17 times.
On the other hand, only three teams in the NFL have allowed fewer total yards per game and only the Ravens are giving up fewer points per contest The Chiefs are doing it a different way this season and appear to be in control of the AFC West, at least for now. Meanwhile, Reid’s club is the only team in the conference with just two losses.
Midseason Grade: A-
It’s been a different stary to the season for the reigning NFC East title holders, who took a three-game winning streak into its off-week. Only the Dolphins and Cowboys are averaging more points per game. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has been a bit up and down, but running back D’Andre Swift has been a great addition. Wide receiver A.J. Brown has had a monster year. The Birds remain better than most when it comes to its play in the trenches.
The defending NFC champions have had their share of nailbiters but have still managed to win eight of their first nine games. Last year at this time, the Birds owned the same 8-1 record. This year’s edition of Sirianni’s team has been a little loose with the ball. This club may be a bit more resourceful and that aspect could pay off in a big way.