If that was the case last week, it probably wasn’t much better for Cunningham watching the film of Sunday’s 44-41 loss to the Titans. The Titans racked up 437 yards of offense, with quarterback Jake Locker and the passing game finding plenty of opportunities to make plays.
"It's guys trying too hard to make a big play," Cunningham said. "They're going to catch the ball. They're going to run the ball. But you have to come up with the key stops and we're not doing it."
There were two plays in particular that really hurt Detroit.
On both the 71- and 61-yard touchdown passes allowed by the Lions, the safety responsible for the over-the-top help on each play either went for an interception and missed or failed to clean up the play, turning a decent gain into a big gain. What’s been going wrong for the Lions defense the last two weeks is that too many players are trying to make the big plays instead of just making the right play.
Not only that, but the eight defensive penalties in the game were killers. None bigger than rookie cornerback
The five encroachment penalties on the defensive line also had a hand in slowing that unit down later in the game, not recording a sack and having only one quarterback hit.
"This is the first time in my career that I've seen where we had eight penalties on defense and five of them were on third down," said Cunningham. "And that is totally unacceptable in our way of teaching this football team how to play."
Cunningham also spoke to detroitlions.com on a number of other topics:
On the play of his defensive line:
"We're a lot better than that. For whatever reason, we didn't execute in this game. I don't want to start the early part of the season by being repetitive like that. We've got to get it done. We've got to get it straightened out in a hurry. We just didn't get explosive enough. Didn't rush together well enough."
On holding the Titans RB Chris Johnson to just 24 yards rushing:
"We held them to 1.6 a carry and I think that might have been his average or less. We had 37 yards of tackles for losses in the run game, which was big for us. And we really worked hard on it. I think he made a 13-yard run and an 11-yard run and both of them were by guys not executing their assignments. We ran to the ball and we tackled hard and we just need to carry that over to the passing game. That was our whole game plan: stop that run and get them into the passing game; rush the passer and play coverage, get the ball back through interceptions. We had them, (but) we didn't do it."
On getting cornerback
"The thing I like best about Chris right now is Chris feels it. His demeanor on the sideline, on the field he was confident. I've never seen him like that since he's been here. He knew he could cover and I'm really happy for him.
"Besides the game, that to me was a highlight in the game. They way he responded after being out and going through a tough rehab. He went out there like he'd never missed a day. I was really happy the way he responded in the game. He played very well. He probably played as well as anybody on the defense by far."