While offense thrives and defense stumbles, Lions players remain unified

Detroit News

Detroit — When you score 45 points, you should win in the NFL. But for just the 20th time in league history, and first time in franchise history, the Detroit Lions came up on the wrong side of that equation when they fell to the Seattle Seahawks, 48-45, on Sunday.

As you might imagine, the scenario naturally carries frustrations, frustrations that could easily spill over into finger-pointing. That’s especially true for a team like the Lions, where the offense has consistently been shouldering the load to start the campaign, just as much as the defensive continues to let the team down. But for now, the Lions continue to project a unified front.

“That’s our only option, right?,” quarterback Jared Goff said. “Because you know what happens if we don’t, it goes downhill quickly. And we’ve got a lot of games ahead of us. It’s not the start we wanted, and it’s hard to sit here at 1-3 and say anything positive, but there is a lot of game ahead of us, a lot of season to be played.”

As absurd as it might sound, offensive players, including Goff, were pointing fingers at themselves after the game. Not only had they failed to score more, but Goff and coach Dan Campbell noted a pick-six the quarterback threw to start the second half. Those seven points, they said, were just as much the difference in the contest as anything else.

“The offense, we spotted them seven,” Campbell said. “So, you take that away, we win this game.”

Even T.J. Hockenson, who set the franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end with his 179-yard, two-touchdown performance, found it more appropriate to consider what more he could have done to prevent the loss.

“If one phase isn’t working, then the next phases needs to step up,” Hockenson said. “We weren’t able to step up enough today. That’s really what it comes down to, they scored more points than us. …Every game you go into, you know one section could be clicking and the other one is not. That’s just football. That’s what we all love about it. That’s what we all love about the game.

“I love all those guys on defense,” Hockenson said. “I love every single of those guys. I would never point a finger toward them. It really starts with the guy in the mirror. We weren’t able to score enough points today. That’s all it really is.”

Campbell noted as soon as you start blaming your teammate, everything the team has worked toward will come undone.

“We can’t do that, man,” Campbell said. “We can’t let anybody pull us apart, because as dismal as it is right now, we’re not as far away as it feels. But until we do something about it, quit talking about it, doesn’t matter. …We’re all in the same boat together and we’ve got to clean it up. But I know this, we can’t go in panic mode because it’s the worst thing you can do.”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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