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FOUR DOWNS: Offense struggles in loss to Eagles


The bye week is an opportunity for players to rest up and get their bodies right, and for coaches to take a deep dive into the film to pull out the good and the bad from their season up to that point.

It will be a tough bye week for head coach Dan Campbell and his team following Sunday's 44-6 loss to Philadelphia that dropped their record to 0-8 on the year.

When it comes to the film review, Campbell said he'll be taking a look at the offense first.

"Offensively, we are very anemic," Campbell said. "So, if you're going to ask me, 'Where are you going to look this week?' That's the first place I'm looking and I'm going to look at it three times before I look anywhere else."

Detroit didn't score Sunday until midway through the fourth quarter when they were down 41-0. Explosive plays down the field were few and far between, which has been an issue all season especially to wide receivers, and Detroit was held to just 57 rushing yards, their second lowest total of the season.

Quarterback Jared Goff has more interceptions and lost fumbles (10) than he does touchdown passes (8), and the offense as a whole has been struggling for most of the season.

Campbell said it's a tough way to live in the NFL dinking and dunking down the field.

View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles Week 8 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Oct. 31 in Detroit, MI.


Pre-snap false starts. Substitution issues drawing penalties. Big plays being wiped away due to illegal formation penalties.

Campbell called some of the mistakes that plagued the Lions Sunday 'Day 1 mistakes,' meaning they are things covered early on in the offseason that shouldn't be issues eight weeks into the season.

"You don't play that bad with a number of guys in areas and turn the ball over and penalties and low energy. You don't do that unless it comes from the top," Campbell said Sunday, very critical of himself first after the loss. "That's on me. I did not set the tone or the tempo properly. That was bad. We didn't even give ourselves a chance."

Safety Tracy Walker said after the game if they don't fix some of the mistakes that keep popping up, they'll find themselves 0-17 when it's all said and done.

Campbell likened the play from his team at times Sunday to that of the Bad News Bears.

"We're trying to help (Matt) Nelson out, we step on his foot. How's that helping? He gets run over and now we get sacked," Campbell said. "I mean it's like – it's like the Bad News Bears on some stuff, man. And there again, that's on me, man. You don't play that bad unless your head coach did not did not have you ready to go, so I did not. That's very evident. I think we all know that."

Somehow, someway Campbell and his staff need to help their team get out of their own way before they can start thinking about beating the other team.


Trailing 17-0 at the end of the first half and needing to score some points knowing the Eagles were set to receive the second-half kickoff, Detroit put together a nice late second-quarter drive marching down to the Philadelphia 22-yard line, where they faced a 3rd and 1 with 19 seconds left.

The Lions called a run to D’Andre Swift, and he was stuffed to set up a 4th and 1 with 13 seconds left.

Detroit opted to go for it on 4th and 1 with a timeout left. The Lions went to throw the football, but the Eagles played good coverage in the secondary and made Goff hold the ball longer than he wanted to. Goff was eventually sacked.

Drive over. No points.

"I freaking hate what I did before halftime," Campbell said after the game. "I hate it. I don't hate going for it, but I should have used a timeout going into the 3rd and 1. That didn't help, either. Look, I got outcoached, man. I got outcoached. I didn't help these guys."


The Lions like to pride themselves on being physical upfront and gritty across the roster. They've certainly shown both traits at times this year, but Sunday wasn't one of those times.

The Eagles pushed the Lions around and dominated both lines of scrimmage. The Eagles rushed for a season-high 236 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry with four rushing touchdowns.

Detroit managed just 57 rushing yards of their own, and Goff was harassed all game to the tune of six sacks and 12 quarterback hits.

"They did some good things upfront," Goff said. "They've got a good pass rush. We knew that coming into the game and they showed up. I love our guys upfront, they fight, but I'm sure they'd be the first to say that they'd like to have some of those back. But at the same time, we can all improve on little things and get better. They were good up front on defense."

Campbell opened his postgame press conference with a simpler assessment.

"We got pushed around bad," he said. "We got pushed around bad."

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