FIRST DOWN: BAG OF TRICKS
Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp was pretty coy this week when he was asked about the special teams fakes he has in his repertoire.
"You just never know when those things pop up," Fipp said. "We work a handful of things every week. At the end of the day, it's got to be the right opportunity, situation and all that stuff."
The opportunity and situations presented themselves early Sunday, and head coach Dan Campbell and Fipp went for it.
Following Detroit's opening drive 63-yard touchdown catch by running back D’Andre Swift, the Lions went for the onside kick that was successfully recovered by safety Tracy Walker. When Detroit failed to convert a first down following the onside kick, Fipp went into his bag of tricks again and called for a fake punt, which was executed perfectly by punter Jack Fox, who threw a 17-yard strike to cornerback Bobby Price out left for a first down. Detroit would get a field goal out of the two fakes to take a 10-0 lead.
Detroit wasn't done there.
Early in the third quarter, facing a 4th and 8 at the Detroit 35-yard line, Detroit called a direct snap to safety C.J. Moore, and he ran around the left edge for 28 yards to the LA 37-yard line. Detroit was trailing 17-16 at the time, but didn't come away with points after a failed 4th and 1 at the Rams' 18-yard line after the fake.
"It's frustrating," Campbell said after the game of being aggressive and getting three of those fakes and it still not being enough to win. "We felt like we could gain an advantage there and see if we could get some possessions back. They helped, but it wasn't enough."
SECOND DOWN: SWIFT IMPRESSES
Every time Swift touches the ball, he expects to score a touchdown. That's just the mindset the second-year running back has.
Swift opened the game with a 63-yard receiving touchdown on Detroit's first possession, and when it was all said and done, he finished with 96 receiving yards on eight catches and 48 rushing yards for 144 total scrimmage yards.
It's the sixth time in 20 career games Swift has topped 100 scrimmage yards.
"He's a stud. We've got to get him the ball," Campbell said. "We can't get him the ball enough."
Swift was terrific, but he said after the game it wasn't enough to win, so he felt he didn't do enough.
"I left plays out there," said Swift, who is always his harshest critic.
THIRD DOWN: STAYING MOTIVATED
Detroit lost another game where it was close at the end, and if a couple plays go the other way, it's a different outcome. Those plays didn't go the Lions way, like they haven't all year, and now they sit at 0-7.
Campbell said after the game it's important this young team doesn't go numb to the losing, and he doesn't think they will.
"If this does not continue to sting and burn and taste like you know what, then you have a problem," he said. "You cannot allow yourself to go numb. You can't because I'm not. All it does is piss me off even more. It just motivates me to want to get out of this mess."
It was a sentiment echoed by quarterback Jared Goff.
"We had our chances to win that game," Goff said. "Make some plays, and they made a couple more than we did. We're a lot better than our record shows. Ultimately in this league that doesn't matter. Until we win some games we can't really prove it."
Goff said he loves this coaching staff and the players in the locker room. He doesn't care what anyone says about the talent level of the roster, they have players who fight, and that's all he can really ask for.
"I love these guys and we're going to keep fighting until the end," Goff said. "We fight, we battle, we play to the best of our ability and unfortunately it hasn't been enough, and we need to do things to fix it ... but I wouldn't do it with anyone else other than that locker room."
View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Rams Week 7 game at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 24 in Inglewood, CA.
FOURTH DOWN: 4TH & 1
Detroit failed to convert a 4th and 1 at the Rams' 18-yard line midway through the fourth quarter trailing 17-16. It didn't end up costing the Lions, other than a chance to take the lead there, because the Rams failed to convert their own 4th and 1 on their subsequent possession after stopping the Lions.
Campbell only regretted the play design, not the call to go for it.
"That's my fault," he said. "I called for that. Had we done it all over again we would have tightened the wing up, which I should have done."
The Lions went no huddle on the play and had a tight end come across the line, which Campbell said in retrospect bottled things up for Swift who was hit for a loss on an inside run.
"That's 100 percent me," Campbell said. "I just felt like if you're going to do it, this is the time to do it. Let's do it, let's catch them off guard. I liked the play. It didn't work out. That's on me."
Swift wanted to put the blame on himself. He said if the team puts the ball in his hands and trusts him to get a first down in that situation, he needs to get it. You could tell that play bothered him after the game.
"I have to read it better and run harder," Swift said. "Pretty simple."