DETROIT (AP) – Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell watched the movie of Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and there was one thing he couldn’t see.
On too many plays, including Lamar Jackson’s 36-yard pass to Sammy Watkins in the fourth and 19 seconds in the final 30 seconds, Campbell couldn’t find the coordination his defense needed in the passing game.
“We had a lot of communication errors, and it was really a lack of communication more than anything else”, Campbell said. “We need to be much more demonstrative, be very clear and concise, and convey the information.
“The problems we had yesterday were not due to our plan. We weren’t communicating between our linebackers and our back end and that hurt us. “
Jackson threw for 287 yards and a touchdown, but the cover failures meant it could have been a lot worse. Marquise Brown opened three times for what should have been touchdowns, but gave up all three assists.
Campbell has said improving communication will be the focus of this week’s practice, but he realizes it won’t be perfect on a battered young defense.
“We have a lot of babies and they made young mistakes” he said. “You’re going to have that, but the veterans need to step up and be even stronger. If I have to stop exercising this week to report it, I will. “
Despite Jackson’s numbers, Campbell saw some bright spots in the film.
“I thought our defense was much better in terms of playing with aggression and focus”, he said. “I think every player in our defensive line has had a winning performance. We need them to make an impact on Lamar’s play and they did – we had pressure, we had hits and we had sacks. I was happy to watch it.
Campbell confirmed that the team had not heard from the league about the apparent game delay penalty that was not issued in the second to last game of the game. If that was the case, Jackson should have thrown a desperate pass; Even Tucker can’t hit 71 yards.
Detroit continues to have strong performances with running backs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. They combined 89 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries, and another 85 yards on nine catches. After a scoreless first half, Detroit’s offense came to life when it started to hit more of Swift.
“We saw his hand warm so we wanted to put the ball in his hands and let him play,” he said. Lions quarterback Jared Goff said.
The Lions have still failed to establish a vertical passing game. Detroit wide receivers caught nine passes against the Ravens, but for just 87 yards – less than 10 yards per catch. Campbell said he didn’t think the passing game ever picked up a pace after the slow start.
As the Saints tried to save the game on their final try, Jackson was sacked on the first down by Romeo Okwara and then hit again on an incomplete second try. This time when the jersey still said “Okwara”, it was little brother Julian on the tube.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had a lot of reps in a game, but I just went out there and attacked like I do every day in training. “ said Julien. “It was really exciting to go in there and do some plays.”
Whether it was through miscommunication or poor coverage, safety Will Harris was the closest Lions player to many of the Ravens’ receivers. It was most evident on the play of the fourths and 19s in the final minute, when Harris chased Watkins before the 36-yard reception.
The Lions finished the game without significant injuries. OT Taylor Decker (main) is eligible to return in early October and likely won’t play Chicago on Sunday, but could be back after the week off.
61 – Sunday was the third time in 51 years that the Lions have lost on a field goal of 61 yards or more – the most in the NFL. In 1970, Tom Dempsey’s record 63-yard kick at the time gave the New Orleans Saints a 19-17 victory, the same score as the Ravens’ victory after the record-breaking 66 kick. Justin Tucker’s yards. Tucker also beat the Lions with a total of 61 yards in 2013, but the final score was not 19-17. He was 18-16.
The Lions will be working hard to improve the pass defense, but after facing Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers and Jackson in the first three weeks, they shouldn’t have as much of a problem with a flawed Chicago offense.