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O'HARA'S MONDAY COUNTDOWN: Goff encourages team to stick together despite 1-3 start

There is no easy fix for what troubles the Detroit Lions at a time when the bright lights they basked in just a couple of weeks ago have started to reveal their flaws and weaknesses.

They can put on a show, but it's a one-sided production that does not have them riding off in the end as the heroes.

The Seattle Seahawks played that role Sunday – as the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings have done before – with a 48-45 victory that may have left Lions fans trying to comprehend how a team with such a powerful offense could have a 1-3 won-loss record after four games.

The simple answer might not be as simple as it seems. The easy answer is that the Lions have one of the NFL's most productive offenses and one of the worst defenses.

In fact, it might be the worst of the 32 franchises based on the stats.

Such a wide split between offense and defense could tear a team apart.

This week's Monday Countdown looks at how quarterback Jared Goff is doing what leaders are supposed to do – keep the boat afloat until the holes are patched in the defense.

There's also head coach Dan Campbell's take on what the offense and defense have to do, along with his support of defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

There are also takeaways on offense, defense and special teams, what's trending and the bottom line.

We start with Goff:

1. Toughness: He had another good performance that would have been great had he not thrown an interception on the first play of the second half that was returned for a touchdown that boosted Seattle's lead to 31-15.

As Goff said in his postgame press conference, the interception gave the Seahawks seven points. Since the Lions lost by three, the Lions statistically could have won the game had it not been for the interception.

The bottom line on that: It was a nice attempt at taking responsibility. In reality, on the other 39 throws he completed 26 for 378 yards and four touchdowns.

Aside from taking blame, Goff talked about unity between offense and defense.

"You support them," Goff said of the defense. "Keep supporting them. Because I've been on the inverse of that and it's tough. Keep supporting them and it will come around. We trust those guys, we trust those coaches, we trust those players.

"I'll tell you one thing if you don't support them, it goes downhill really quickly. So, if we want to stay in this fight and have any chance it's stick together and remain a team."

2. Score more: Campbell did not absolve the defense from its woeful performance, but he did stress the need to keep up in a high-scoring game.

"We've got to outscore them," Campbell said. "As messy as some of it was early offensively, we can't have it that way when we get those type of games. Offensively, that's where this game went.

"It was high scoring, so we have to outscore them."

3. Coach support: Campbell and Glenn have a strong bond from their days together on the New Orleans Saints' staff.

Campbell said he intends to look at the defense "from top to bottom," but his support of Glenn has not wavered.

"AG is a damn good coach," Campbell said. "This is the same thing I told the team. The worst thing we can do is start pointing fingers at each other. We can't let anybody pull us apart.

"As dismal as it is right now, we're not as far away as it feels."

4. Takeaways, offense:

  • On the run: Jamaal Williams filled the gap left by D’Andre Swift. He carried 19 times for 108 yards and two TDs, with a long run of 51 yards. He's shown a good mix of power and surprising speed.
  • Connections: The time Goff and wide receiver Josh Reynolds spent together with the Rams is paying off in Detroit. Reynolds had seven catches for 81 yards and a TD.
  • Up front: That's where it starts with the Lions --- on the offensive line. Goff has been sacked once in the last two games.

5. Takeaways, defense:

  • Sacks: None. No need to expand on that. It has to get better -- a lot better.
  • QB: Seahawks QB Geno Smith passed for 320 yards and two TDs, and ran seven times for 49 yards and a TD. He was untouched on his TD run up the middle.
  • 555: The Lions gave up 235 yards rushing and 320 passing. That adds up to 555.

6. Takeaways, special teams:

  • Kick start: Dominik Eberle's first kick as at Detroit Lion was a missed extra point. He later missed another, and a kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Seahawks possession at the 40.
  • Perfection: Punter Jack Fox completed one pass for four yards on a fake punt. His passer rating for the game was 121.7. Goff's rating, which included four TD passes, was 121.5.

7. Trending:

  • Up: Tight end T.J. Hockenson had a big game: Eight catches, 179 yards and two TDs. For those who've forgotten, he made the Pro Bowl in the 2020 season and possibly was on the way to making it again before a foot injury cut his 2021 season short.
  • Down: The Lions' defense.
  • Even: Lions' offensive line. Plug in whoever's needed to fill out the five starting positions and they continue to play like they've been together for a decade.

8. Bottom line: I didn't think the Lions would be 3-1 after four games, and I didn't think they'd be 1-3. A really good offense is being wasted.

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