The Detroit Lions have not won a game during the 2021 NFL season. The first two months of the season have come and gone, and Dan Campbell’s team still has a goose egg in the win column.
Things have not been great for the rookie head coach or quarterback Jared Goff in his first season with the team. Halloween was not any better, either, as the Philadelphia Eagles stomped on the Lions in a 44-6 blowout.
Once again, Campbell gathered courage, stepped to the mic after another brutal defeat, and gave the press exactly what they wanted — a golden quote.
The struggles in Detroit remain and Jared Goff isn’t helping
Now, can all of the blame be placed on Dan Campbell? Not really.
The roster construction of this team is a hot mess, to be quite frank. The wide receiver room is barren, and the best pass-catcher is tight end TJ Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift. Without those two, this team might not score any touchdowns at all.
Jared Goff isn’t going anybody any favors, either. In his first year with the team, Goff has just 1995 yards with eight scores and six interceptions. Sure, the weapons might not be there, but Goff isn’t helping out his cause. Campbell even called out and challenged his quarterback recently, something he hasn’t lived up to just yet.
The options are limited, but things are going south quickly in Detroit, and the number one overall draft pick has become more evident.
Dan Campbell shoulders the blame for the Lions
After years and years of sheer ineptitude in Detroit, Campbell has repeatedly taken the blame for the team’s struggles. He’s shed tears during pressers and put the league on notice by pulling an onside kick and fake punt in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams. Ultimately, the Rams got the better of Detroit, but there was excitement on the sidelines thanks to Campbell’s quirky decision-making.
After the loss to the Eagles, Campbell again took the blame (h/t Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit).
“I felt like we got outcoached today. We got outplayed across the board. That starts with me. It really does. You don’t play that bad with a number of guys and areas, and turn the ball over, and (commit) penalties, and it’s low energy. You don’t do that unless that comes from the top, so that’s on me.”Dan Campbell after blowout loss to Eagles
Well, at least he is taking accountability. After years of Jim Caldwell and Matt Patricia roaming the sidelines, it is a bit refreshing to hear Campbell shoulder the blame and not deflect it elsewhere.
Then again, you don’t stick around for long if you can’t win football games. The Lions are now 0-8 and in their bye week, so perhaps having some time off will do good for this team.
The Lions are walking a tight rope in order to avoid a winless campaign
An 0-8 start is the last thing Goff and Campbell envisioned when they joined the Lions. But here we are at the beginning of November, and they still don’t have a win.
It won’t get much easier for the Lions, unfortunately. After the bye, they face the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and then the Chicago Bears. The game against Chicago and Justin Fields is most likely their best shot of getting a win this year, barring some unforeseen upset.
Three of the Lions’ final four games are against the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, and the Green Bay Packers, with the Atlanta Falcons mixed in.
Sure, the Lions aren’t a good football team, but if Campbell finishes his rookie year with zero wins, changes might be coming again in the Motor City.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference