The Detroit Lions were so bad on offense in last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals that offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Thursday he could not find one redeeming thing his unit did well on the field.
“Not a damn thing,” Lynn said. “Every game up until then I could come here and I could have told you some positives but after that Cincinnati game, that’s just the way I felt. And I think our squad feels that way offensively. We’re looking forward to going out. We’re blessed to have another opportunity to go out on Sunday and do it again.”
The Lions set season-lows for rushing yards (36), passing yards (202), total yards (228) and points (11) against the Bengals, and needed two late scores against a prevent defense to avoid the shutout.
Lynn said execution issues caused by a lack of practice time were central to the Lions’ struggles. The Lions (0-6) were flagged for two penalties in their first three plays and averaged 1.8 yards per snap in the first half.
“You had some guys that didn’t practice as much last week and it showed up in the game,” he said. “So guys that don’t practice as much, we won’t put as much on their plate, regardless of who they are. So that’s one of the things we’re going to do.”
Tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back Jamaal Williams each missed a day of practice last week, and were limited when they were on the field. D’Andre Swift was limited all three days of practice, like he has been most of the season.
Hockenson and quarterback Jared Goff had a miscommunication on a key third-down pass that Goff threw incomplete, and Swift and Williams both posted season-low yards per carry.
Left guard Jonah Jackson also was limited two days of practice.
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“It wasn’t just T.J., it was a few guys,” Lynn said. “But we just started pretty slow last week and we never go out of that funk.”
The Lions have battled slow starts much of the season. They have not scored a first-half touchdown in four straight games, and head coach Dan Campbell suggested this week the offense needs to do a better job playing with tempo.
“We have yet to focus for four quarters and we talk about this intense focus that it takes to be successful in this league, and I do believe we are a gritty group,” Lynn said. “But last week we did take a step backwards and I think guys are eager to go play this week against a good football team and just see where we stand.”