“When you step back and you look at a number of performances that were very much subpar across the board, it’s not coincidence,” Campbell said. “And so that’s where, man, I did not do a good job of getting them ready. I did not, I did not. And it’d be one thing if there were just a couple of guys here or there, but ultimately, it was that I didn’t have them ready and I’ve got to do a much better job of getting them prepared, which I will this week.”
The Lions were completely anemic on both sides of the ball. The defense allowed touchdowns on the Ravens’ first four drives, and the offense failed to earn a first down until it was already 28-0. It was a stark departure from previous performances by the Lions, who entered the game with a top-10 offense and defense.
It would be easy to watch that game and just tip your hand to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. The former MVP made a ton of impressive plays on his way to a 357-yard, four-touchdown (including one rush) performance against the Lions. But Campbell thinks Detroit made it too easy for Jackson.
“We took that shotgun right to the foot a number of times,” Campbell said. “Anyway, didn’t play good enough, didn’t make enough plays. Our guys that get one-on-ones, our dudes, the guys that we really count on, when they get their one-on-ones, they’ve got to win them. But man, I am 100 percent responsible for that.”
Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn have come under a bit of fire for what appeared to be a passive defensive game plan, allowing Jackson to sit in the pocket for long periods of time to pick apart Detroit’s secondary. However, Campbell defended the scheme, suggesting that the execution was to blame.
“The plan, honestly, was simple. I thought it allowed them to play fast. We needed to challenge these receivers. Make him throw in tight windows and we called those, we just didn’t execute, we didn’t execute,” Campbell said.
So what went wrong? Why were the Lions so incapable of executing the game plan? What did the coaches fail to do in the lead-up to the game? Campbell pointed to getting away from core fundamentals at just about every position.
“We need to get back to some of our fundamental work, our one-on-one work, our technique work,” Campbell said. “Good-on-good, just one-on-one pass rush. Good one-on-one man-to-man coverage, one-on-one getting open on routes, our releases, our handwork. I think just getting back to some of that, man. Protection, tight ends, LBs, tight ends, D-ends, running backs, linebackers.”
This was a similar response Campbell gave after the team’s Week 2 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks. After that game, the Lions won four straight, all by double digits.
The Lions coach vowed on Monday that they’ll be ready for their bout against the Raiders next week.
“I just know the frustration and anger that I have, that motivates me. And I’m pretty sure it does with our players, so we will be ready for this game, we will be ready. We will physically, emotionally, we will be ready for this game.”