ALLEN PARK — A closer look at the film showed Lions coach Dan Campbell what happened when his bunch got kicked in the teeth in a 37-23 loss at the Panthers on Saturday.
“There was a lack of aggressiveness, a lack of finish, a lack of detail, a lack of discipline. There were a number of different things that showed up that were very uncharacteristic of how we played and one of the reasons we’d played pretty well (in the 6-1 run),’’ Campbell said on Monday.
The Lions defense was torched by the Panthers — allowing 320 rushing yards — and the Lions’ offense couldn’t get a foothold on the rushing game, finishing with just 45 yards.
It was not complementary football. It was not even close to good football.
“Some of that is the way you start, you get yourself in a bit of a hole, then some guys are trying to make plays and they’re making it worse by not staying true to what their job description is,’’ Campbell said. “We’ve got some new guys playing. Some guys, there were a couple of looks they were getting confused on. It was a little of everything.’’
Campbell was resolute that his team will be ready to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Ford Field. On Nov. 13, the Lions eked out a 31-30 win at Chicago, allowing quarterback Justin Fields 147 rushing yards and the Bears 258 rushing yards overall.
Immediately after the Christmas Eve loss, Campbell took the blame for the loss. It was no different on Monday.
“Look I’m just going to say this again, it stings, it’s awful but man it’s the best thing that can happen to us,’’ Campbell said. “I think no matter who you are and whatever you do, some of your best work is when you get your face kicked in – I know not everybody gets their face kicked in.
“But I know when your back is against the wall and you get trodden on and everything is at its worst you either stay down there or you get up and you come back motivated and upset with calculated energy and aggression and you go so there’s a purpose,’ Campbell said. “I think this is the best thing for us.’’
Because he saw his team’s resilience to win six of seven after that 1-6 start, Campbell seems confident in a turn-around.
“We’ve got the right type of guys who are going to come in here, they’re prideful, they’ll put their best foot forward,’’ Campbell said. “They’ll be ready to go.’’