They say in the NFL that the losses are never as bad as they seem and the wins are often not as good. The Detroit Lions’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs felt like one of the bigger wins of the past couple decades for this franchise, but coach Dan Campbell was the first to admit that it was also kind of a sloppy game.
“We’ve got so much to clean up that we’ll only be better from this,” Campbell said in his opening statement after the win. “But this was step one, this is game one, so I’m proud of them.”
Campbell has every right to be proud of the team. It’s not often you can win a game with so many mistakes, let alone to the defending champions. But it speaks to the team’s ability to quickly put errors behind them, and their high level of play between mistakes.
And while Campbell is absolutely right—this is Week 1, where every team is still working out kinks and shaking off rust—there certainly are some concerning things we saw from the team’s 2023 regular season debut.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
What is the Lions’ biggest concern from Week 1?
My answer: Let me start by saying I don’t think there is anything extremely concerning. As a whole, there was far more good than bad on Thursday night, and that’s why the team walked away with a win in a hostile environment. The future of this franchise is undoubtedly bright.
But I have a very specific concern that was highlighted at the end of the first half. After the Chiefs took the lead with 34 seconds left, the Lions had an opportunity to cut into that lead with a couple of timeouts in hand. What followed was an extremely sad-looking attempt to get into field goal range. Jared Goff could only muster passes within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage and the middle of the field. Detroit never really got all that close to getting in field goal range outside of a pass that Marvin Jones couldn’t haul in.
While this may seem nitpicky, it does highlight one potentially fatal flaw in this offense. Their bread and butter is the run game and a short-to-immediate passing game. So if they find themselves down at the end of the game, they’re going to have a tough time pushing it downfield quickly.
Last year, we didn’t really see the Lions in that many situations, but now that this team is going to compete for real this year, there are bound to be last-minute scenarios for the Lions offense. And it would have been very comforting to see the Lions at least have a competitive drive at the end of the half—and maybe even a semi-long field goal to ease those concerns.
Is this all nitpicky? Yes. Is there enough of a sample size to be legitimately concerned about this right now? Probably not. But it also speaks to the team’s lack of a field-stretching weapon right now, and even though Jameson Williams’ return is five weeks away, we can’t forget that he was not exactly setting the world on fire prior to his suspension.
What is something you’re concerned about after the Lions’ Week 1 debut? Scroll down to the comment section below and share your answer... or just continue to bask in victory. I’m not your dad.