Wed, 01 Dec 2021

FOUR DOWNS: Campbell reacts to lopsided loss to Bengals

Detroit Lions
18 Oct 2021, 19:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

FIRST DOWN: CAMPBELL REACTS

For the first five weeks of the season, a young Detroit Lions football team couldn't find enough ways to win a game, but they at least showed effort and resiliency.

Sunday's 34-11 loss to Cincinnati at home felt different, and Lions head coach Dan Campbell wasn't happy about it after the game.

"We got whipped. That was brutal," Campbell said. "First credit Cincinnati. They were ready to go. We didn't do anything right."

Detroit had less than 100 yards of total offense through the first 45 minutes of the game and trailed 27-0 at one point. After playing well defensively in the first half, Cincinnati moved the ball at will and hit big play after big play to fill up the scoreboard.

Campbell said more importantly than a perceived lack of effort was the lack of focus, and he put that on himself.

"When you get whipped like that, that's on me," he said. "There's no other way around that. That's a reflection on me."

Campbell said it was the first time all season he's been disappointed in his football team following a loss for the lack of effort and focus they displayed for 60 minutes.

"We weren't even in that fight," Campbell said.

Campbell said he'll be looking at himself first tonight and trying to find a way to push the right buttons to get this team playing better football than they showed Sunday.

SECOND DOWN: NO CHANGE AT QB

The Lions were mostly ineffective on offense Sunday. There were no explosive plays and plenty of missed opportunities, along with untimely penalties and turnovers.

Quarterback Jared Goff finished 28-of-42 passing for 202 yards with an interception, but most of that production came in the fourth quarter with the Bengals protecting a big lead and playing deep Cover 2 defense.

"I don't put this all on Jared Goff," Campbell said after the game. "This is a collective offensively for everything. There are some guys that (missed assignments) too and he's trying to make a throw with guys that are (missing assignments). He can't even trust where the hell they are supposed to be at."

Campbell said guys have to play better around Goff, but he also admitted Goff has to do more. Goff said the same after the game.

Campbell said he has no plans to make a change at quarterback with the Lions heading to Los Angeles to play the 5-1 Rams Sunday.

THIRD DOWN: OFFENSE LACKS RHYTHM

Momentum, rhythm and tempo are staples of good offenses. Right now, Detroit's offense doesn't have any of those going, and Campbell said it's hurting the team's chances to win games right now.

"Offensively we had no rhythm and no tempo," Campbell said. "We couldn't execute on third down. Missed opportunities. And that's the story of the game."

Sunday was by far the Lions' worst offensive performance of the season. It's the first time the injuries on that side of the ball have really seemed to show up. Campbell will never make that an excuse, but this offense is down its top two offensive linemen and top two receivers. The latter seemed to be a bigger issue Sunday.

Detroit got just 87 yards from the receiving corps against the Bengals. They didn't generate enough separation down the field, and Campbell eluded to missed assignments from pass catches multiple times after the game.

FOURTH DOWN: COSTLY TURNOVERS

This offense isn't currently productive enough to overcome mistakes, especially when those mistakes take potential scoring opportunities off the board.

Detroit had two turnovers and two failed fourth-down attempts in Chicago territory three weeks ago. They had two turnovers last week inside the Minnesota 32-yard line.

Sunday it was more of the same. Rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown couldn't hang on to a good Goff pass down the middle of the field at the Cincinnati 23-yard line, and the ball was intercepted. Detroit also had a failed attempt on 4th and 4 at the Bengals' 38-yard line in the second quarter.

That first win of the season will continue to stay elusive for Detroit if they continue to turn the ball over in opponent territory.

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