This week is an early chance for the 2023 Lions to do just that.
But while the sky is falling around the team publicly, quarterback Jared Goff has found confidence in the fact that the Lions have been here previously.
“We’ve been through a whole lot worse than this,” Goff told reporters on September 21. “We lost a tough game. We played well in parts, didn’t play well in other parts.
“But we have some stuff to get better at and some stuff that we like that we can draw on and can use for the next week.”
Positives From Detroit’s First Two Games
The statistics and eye test support Goff’s claim that the Lions have positives they can take away from the first two weeks of the season. Most of them are on offense.
After two games, the Lions are third in offensive yards and 10th in points scored. They have been pretty balanced offensively as well. Detroit is fourth in passing yards and 14th in rushing after two games.
In particular, Goff is off to a hot start. He has completed 50 of his 70 attempts for 576 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s posted a 71.4% completion percentage and 8.2 yards per attempt average with only 1 interception.
To improve offensively, the Lions must reduce their turnovers. A David Montgomery fumble helped the Seattle Seahawks tie the score early in the third quarter during Week 2. Goff’s interception directly led to a score as a pick-six.
The Lions lost the turnover battle, 3-0, against the Seahawks.
“It’s a little bit like how we started last year, man, it becomes contagious in the wrong way,” Campbell told reporters on September 18. “And we’ve got to stop the bleeding and get back to where … the football is, man, your life depends on it. You’ve got to think of it that way. Your teammate’s life depends on it. And it is the most important thing that we have on gameday. At all costs, you must protect the football.”
The Lions will face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. Not only are the Falcons 2-0, they hold a plus-2 advantage in the turnover margin.
Lions Injuries Heading Into Week 3
In addition to the Lions hosting another tough opponent on September 24, they will be at less than full strength.
Although Gardner-Johnson’s leadership and energy is going to be difficult for Detroit to replace, rookie Brian Branch will likely fill in for the injured veteran at nickel cornerback. A collection of edge rushers opposite Aidan Hutchinson will try to produce more pressure in Houston’s absence.
“It’s always next man up,” Goff said. “Guys will be ready.”
On offense, the Lions are dealing with two injuries at skilled positions and two injuries along the offensive line.
Tackle Taylor Decker didn’t play in Week 2 and hasn’t returned to practice. Based on his own injury prognosis, it will be surprising if running back David Montgomery dresses in Week 3.
But as Goff stated, the Lions have been through worse, and those previous situations will help them get through their current adversity.
“This is the National Football League. Guys have to step up. There’s no way you’re going to stay healthy all year,” Goff said. “Every team is dealing with it, and the teams that end up at the end, deal with it better than others.
“So we have to deal with it well and move on.”