Exactly how much progress did the Lions make in their first season under Steve Mariucci?
The obvious -- and flip -- answer is simply: Not enough.
In the only category that really means anything, they improved their victory total from three to five. A start but only half as many as they need to compete for a division title or the playoffs.
The offense, which is considered Mariucci's area of expertise, actually took a step backwards in his first season.
The Lions scored fewer points (270) than they did a year ago (306).
Statistically, they dropped from 28th in the NFL in total offense to 32d, and from 29th in rushing yardage to 32d. They improved in passing from 25th in the NFL to 24th.
The area of biggest improvement was the defense where -- oddly enough -- coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer might yet be replaced.
The defense gave up fewer points (379) than it did a year ago (451). And statistically, they improved from 31st in the NFL in total defense to 24th; they improved from 17th best rushing defense to 15th; and they improved from 30th best pass defense to 28th.