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O'HARA'S MONDAY COUNTDOWN: Campbell's take on Lions' post-bye performance

Whether it was the roof that fell in on them or the rug that was pulled out from under them, the Detroit Lions don't have to go far to find the culprit who ruined what had the makings of a heroic performance.

They did it to themselves.

Look no further for what turned a close game into a statistical blowout in Sunday's 24-6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Lions actually had a 6-3 lead at halftime and trailed by only 10-6 when the Cowboys put the game away with two touchdowns in the final 2:45.

One penalty at a time (the Lions had eight), one fumble at a time (they lost three) and one interception at a time (they had two) they took themselves out of the game.

All five turnovers came in the second half.

This week's Monday Countdown looks at how head coach Dan Campbell thought his team performed coming off the bye week.

There's also a look at the unlikeliest fumble at the worst time and how it made a major impact on the game. There are also takeaways on offense, defense and special teams, what's trending on the Lions and the bottom line.

We start with Campbell:

1. Campbell has been unyielding in his belief that a team needs to practice with intensity in order to improve, and the Lions did that last week in their return from the bye. That included practicing in pads.

Whatever the Lions did in practice and the changes that were made on defense worked. The Lions were tougher and more aggressive on defense. They held the Cowboys without a TD in the first half, and it was still a game until the Cowboys scored their final two TDs in the last three minutes.

On offense, they relied on their running game and used a short, ball-control passing game.

"We knew what we had to do," Campbell said in a postgame interview on 97.1 The Ticket. "We had to play a little ground and pound. We had some good looks. We turned the ball over.

"We were playing the game the way we needed to. It just got out of hand.

"Defensively, it was how we practiced all week. We were ready to play. We were focused. We were intense. When you play like that, you'll have a chance to win every game."

2. The fumble: Based on his career record, running back Jamaal Williams would have been one of the players of anyone on the Lions' roster – and perhaps any team's roster – to carry the ball anywhere on the field.

According to Pro Football Reference, going into Sunday's game he had 730 career carries and 153 receptions with only one fumble.

No. 2 came Sunday. On the fifth play of the fourth quarter, with the Cowboys holding a lead, the Lions had first and goal at the Cowboys' one-yard line.

With four shots at scoring the go-ahead touchdown, the Lions could not have been in a much better position. But on first down, Williams fumbled and the Cowboys recovered.

3. Shrinking offense: The offense was the Lions' bright spot in the first four games. The Lions averaged 35 points a game. After being shut out by the Patriots a week ago, and squeezing out only six points on two field goals against the Cowboys, the offense is averaging 23.3 points a game.

4. Takeaways, offense:

  • Williams' plus side: He played well again, except for the lost fumble. He rushed for 75 yards, with an average of 5.3 yards per carry.
  • Jared Goff: He's committed six turnovers in the last two games: Three interceptions and three fumbles lost.
  • Tight ends: They figured prominently in the game plan. Brock Wright had four catches on four targets for 57 yards. T.J. Hockenson had four catches on five targets for 48 yards. Any reason not to do that every week?

5. Takeaways, defense:

  • Aidan Hutchinson*:* The plan to get him more involved worked. The rookie defensive lineman had 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits.
  • Jeff Okudah: He played like he was being paid by the tackle. He had 15 of them – three assists and 12 solo.
  • Goff: He was credited with two tackles. Obviously, it is not a good sign when your quarterback is making tackles.

6. Takeaways, special teams:

  • Kick starter: Michael Badgley had a nice start in his first game as a Lion. He made both of his field goal attempts, from 40 and 53 yards.
  • Unhappy return: Cowboys speedster KaVontae Turpin burned the Lions for a 52-yard punt return.

7. Trending:

  • Up: Hutchinson. Some changes were made to get him more involved, and they worked. He was more involved.
  • Down: Goff. Six turnovers in the last two games are drive killers.
  • Even: The Lions are in one of those phases where nothing seems to go right. The proof is in their record – 1-5, with a four-game losing streak.

8. Bottom line: The Lions are in last place alone at 1-5.

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