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O'HARA'S MONDAY COUNTDOWN: Campbell takes blame for loss, but other factors contributed

There was no drama, no strategy to dissect with any real conviction and absolutely no way to piece together an argument on how the outcome could have been different in the Detroit Lions' latest loss.

It was exactly what it was – a 29-0 shutout by the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

And it was exactly what the Lions did not want – a loss that sent them into their bye week with a 1-4 won-loss record.

Head coach Dan Campbell put the blame on himself for the poor performance, but there were other factors that contributed.

This week's Monday Countdown looks at matchups in three key areas that made a difference. There are also takeaways on offense, defense and special teams, what's trending and the bottom line.

We start with Dan Campbell's postgame comments:

1. Campbell's comments: He's never happy after a loss, but his reaction Sunday seemed different.

It was a low point of the season, and that performance clearly caught him by surprise.

"It was not good," he said in his postgame media session. "It was the worst overall as a team. That falls on me.

"You can't play that way unless your coach doesn't have you ready.

"That's 100 percent on me."

There is plenty of blame to spread around, as follows:

2. Quarterbacks: Patriots rookie Bailey Zappe was the winner in his first NFL start over Lions veteran Jared Goff.

Zappe finished out the previous week's overtime loss to the Packers. He played reasonably well, completing 10 of 15 passes with one TD and no interceptions.

He was remarkably poised for a young player making his first start. Zappe completed 17 of 21 passes for 188 yards and a TD. He had one interception on a deflection that was not his fault. His passer rating was an even 100.

Goff, who played so well in the first four games, never seemed comfortable. He had an interception on the Lions' second possession when they were driving for a possible field goal or go-ahead touchdown after the Patriots had taken a 3-0 lead on their first possession.

He fumbled late in the second quarter when sacked on fourth down. The Patriots returned it for a touchdown that extended their lead to 13-0.

Goff completed 19 of 35 passes for 229 yards and the one pick. His passer rating was 62.7.

3. Offensive line: The Lions' strongest and deepest position, and another win for the Patriots, who took a lot of the pressure off Zappe. The Patriots rushed for 176 yards. Rhamondre Stevenson carried the load, getting 161 yards on 25 carries.

The Lions' run game was adequate – 101 yards on 27 carries, led by Jamaal Williams' 15 carries for 56 yards.

4. Pass rush: The Lions failed to record a sack for the second straight week. They also did not have a quarterback hit. Goff was sacked twice, hit six times and fled the pocket (also referred to as scrambling) three times.

5. Takeaways, offense:

  • Standout: Wide receiver Josh Reynolds was the Lions' most productive offensive player with six catches for 92 yards. His days with Goff in LA have carried over to Detroit.
  • Another Reynolds: Running back Craig Reynolds had three catches for 68 yards.
  • Disappearing act: How does tight end T.J. Hockenson go from a big game one week to one catch for six yards the next?

6. Takeaways, defense:

  • Showing up: Safety DeShon Elliott made his presence felt with three tackles for loss and an interception.
  • Stop sign: Defensive lineman Austin Bryant seemed to do a good job of keeping the Patriots from running outside when he was in the game.

7. Takeaways, special teams:

  • Punting: The Patriots punted twice. That's noteworthy only because the Seahawks did not punt last week.
  • Returns: Maurice Alexander averaged 33.5 yards on two kickoff returns. Kalif Raymond averaged 8 yards on two punt returns.

8. Trending:

  • Up: Josh Reynolds. He produces when he plays.
  • Down: Pass rush. Two straight games without a sack is not acceptable.
  • Even: Taylor Decker never seems to have a bad game, no matter what else is happening.

9. Bottom line: With the bye, the Lions have two weeks instead of one to think about a loss and how it impacts this season.

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