After Monday night’s loss, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell was asked if he believed the team had enough talent in their receiving corps to hang with good offensive teams like the Green Bay Packers. Campbell replied that he believes the team has the talent, but they’re still trying to figure out where each wide receiver is best served for this offense.
“I’m not giving up on our receivers, either,” Campbell said. “We’ll just keep working and find out what they really do best that we can showcase or maybe even, position-wise, exactly where they need to be.”
Campbell also pointed to another solution: get the ball in the hands of the team’s two biggest offensive playmakers: running back D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson.
“Maybe we’ve got to find more plays for Swifty, we’ve got to find more plays for Hock,” Campbell said.
Hockenson has already been plenty involved in the team’s aerial attack. He leads the Lions in targets (20), receiving yards (163), and touchdowns (2). Swift, however, hasn’t seen quite as many looks—especially before the game has gotten out of hand in both previous games. Though he has 106 receiving yards and 12 catches, 89 of those receiving yards have come in the second half with the team already way behind.
Campbell and the Lions offense would be wise to get Swift more involved earlier in the game, because Swift has already proven to be a deadly weapon in the receiving attack through two weeks:
D'Andre Swift is T-1st in missed tackles forced on receptions (7) pic.twitter.com/wW6IxnJbrI— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) September 22, 2021
With Lions No. 1 receiver Tyrell Williams expected to be out again this week, don’t be surprised if Swift is a more significant part of the game plan against the Ravens.
- Several former Lions are on the initial the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate list, including offensive linemen Lomas Brown and Kevin Glover.
- Hockenson is on his way to becoming an elite tight end in this league, if he’s not there already:
.@Lions TE @TheeHOCK8 is the only @NFL player with 8+ receptions in the first two games of the 2021 season.— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) September 22, 2021
He is also the 3rd TE in #NFL history to produce 8 receptions & a TD in each of the first 2 games of a season, joining Mark Andrews (2019) & Ben Coates (1994).#OnePride pic.twitter.com/ThTbAtCtxz
- The fellas over at The Athletic have five takeaways from the Lions’ first two games (subscription required), including this: Penei Sewell is a left tackle.
- The notorious bettor who had over $726,959 riding on the Lions beating the Packers ended up having a happy ending to his story, despite the fact that the Lions lost that game. He got to cash out before losing his 16-game parlay:
Update from @BetMGM on the $25 parlay that would’ve cashed $726K with a Lions win Monday: “Due to the amazing picks and unlikely odds, BetMGM made an exception and the bettor cashed out for $133K pre-tax.” https://t.co/8YcuZEmC9l— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) September 22, 2021
- Miss the “Manning Cast” of Monday Night Football, which featured live commentary from Peyton and Eli Manning? Ben Raven of MLive has the best moments from the night.
- Another sign that the Lions run offense may actually be for real:
Lot of negative vibes coming out of the Lions game. Want a positive stat? 18.6% of Detroit's run plays have resulted in a gain of 10 or more this year, second only to Minnesota. Run game looks absolutely legit. Now they need to learn to keep games close as to not abandon it.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) September 21, 2021