Even the Detroit Lions seem beat down by the Detroit Lions’ losing ways.
After clawing, scratching and biting everything but kneecaps to keep games competitive the first five weeks of the season, the Lions turned in their most uninspired effort of the season Sunday, losing to the Cincinnati Bengals, 34-11, at Ford Field.
The Lions managed just 51 net yards of offense in the first half and did not score their first points until the game was well out of reach, on a 35-yard Austin Seibert field goal with 8:36 left in the fourth quarter.
With two games remaining until their much-needed bye, the Lions (0-6) are off to their worst start since their 0-16 season of 2008 and are the only winless team left in the NFL.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, who entered Sunday without a win, beat the Miami Dolphins in London, on a last second-field goal by Matthew Wright, who the Lions cut in the preseason.
The Lions have a 10-game losing streak dating back to last season and will be heavy underdogs next week when they visit the Los Angeles Rams and ex-Lion and MVP candidate Matthew Stafford.
On Sunday, Jared Goff, the man the Lions acquired to replace Stafford, completed 28 of 42 passes for 202 yards and drove the Lions into Bengals territory just once in the first three quarters.
The Lions were in Cincinnati territory a second time, after Amani Oruwariye intercepted a Joe Burrow pass that sailed through Ja’Marr Chase’s hands, but Goff was sacked for a 10-yard loss on the first play after the pick and Amon-Ra St. Brown had an interception ripped out of his hands on the next play.
Goff overthrew an open T.J. Hockenson on a third-and-4 pass from the Bengals’ 38-yard line early in the second quarter that likely would have gone for a touchdown, then threw the ball away out of bounds on fourth-and-4, when rookie left tackle Penei Sewell was beat on a pass rush that caused Goff to flee the pocket early and miss an open D’Andre Swift in the flat.
He was booed loudly when he skipped a pass to KhaDarel Hodge late in the fourth quarter, two plays before Swift scored the Lions’ only touchdown.
Defensively, the Lions played a good first half of football, holding a potent Bengals offense to 10 points, then imploded in the second half. The Bengals scored on their first four possessions of the second half, a streak that came to an end only after they ran two kneel-down plays to kill the clock.
Burrow finished 19 of 29 passing for 271 yards with three touchdowns. His backup, Brandon Allen, entered the game with more than 8 minutes to play and threw a fourth touchdown pass.
Chase had four catches for 97 yards, and Joe Mixon added 94 yards rushing, 54 receiving and a touchdown for the Bengals (4-2)
Burrow opened the scoring with a 24-yard touchdown pass to ex-Michigan standout Chris Evans, and threw TDs to Mixon and C.J. Uzomah in the second half.
Lions fans cheered in jest when first-year coach Dan Campbell sent Seibert on for his fourth-quarter field goal attempt.
Campbell is off to the worst start by a Lions coach in his first season since Marty Mornhinweg went 0-12 to start the 2001 season.