Free Press sports writer Carlos Monarrez answers three questions from the Detroit Lions’ 44-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field.
SUNDAY STRUGGLES: Detroit Lions, Dan Campbell looked lost Sunday. They’re not far from finding 0-17 finish
How bad was this loss?
No way to sugarcoat this one, even though it happened on Halloween. It was the Lions’ worst loss as they fell to 0-8. It was their worst loss for several reasons, especially because they were coming off such an encouraging performance on the road against the Rams. This game was full of miscues, bad plays and bad coaching. It all added up to an ineffectual performance by the Lions, who were never in this game, much like their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. This was a winnable game for the Lions, considering the competition. But to have so little effect and success at home against a struggling team like the Eagles says a lot about where the Lions are and how far they have to go in his rebuild.
Is quarterback Jared Goff regressing?
I don’t want to lay all the blame at Jared Goff’s feet, but he’s not playing any better than he has previously and sometimes it looks like he’s playing worse. He was sacked six times, and several of those sacks came when he held the ball too long. He has to understand that Matt Nelson is playing right tackle and that he can’t reasonable expect Nelson to hold off a good defensive end like Josh Sweat forever. His decision-making has to be quicker. I don’t know if he threw away a fourth-down pass on purpose in the third quarter, but if he did, that’s inexcusable. Goff showed plenty of toughness and fight, recovering his own fumble in the fourth quarter, but he needs to make better decisions and more plays like he did in Los Angeles if the Lions are going to have a chance to win a game any time soon.
Will the Lions go 0-17?
I’ve been staunch in my belief that the Lions aren’t as bad as their record reflects. But this game was an indictment of the Lions’ ability to rise above their talent and health limitations. They didn’t score until garbage time was well underway with 7:14 left and against the Eagles’ backups. Before Sunday, I thought they had a chance to win any one of their next five games. But after seeing such a poor effort against the Eagles at home, I don’t see them returning from the bye and winning on the road at Cleveland or Pittsburgh and I can easily see a Thanksgiving Day mauling by the Bears. After that, a home win against the Vikings seems as unlikely as a road win in Denver. Unless something changes dramatically, the Lions look like they’re headed for another date with NFL history.
Contact Carlos Monarrez at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.