Lions Week 4 Grades: Coaches Plummet After Decision Making

Dan Campbell

Getty Dan Campbell shakes hands with Matt Nagy after playing the Bears in 2021.

The Detroit Lions haven’t won a game so far this season, and have struggled at times to the tune of an 0-4 record. As a result, the team’s consistency has been about as big an issue on both sides of the ball as could be expected.

Detroit’s offense and defense have yet to manage any kind of a consistent effort on the field this year, and that is combining to drive their grades down week to week. One week after it looked as if the defense took a step forward, it took a major step back. Offensively, meanwhile, the Lions continue to leave a lot to be desired in multiple ways.

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What do the grades look like for this week after the defeat? Here’s a look at how things stack up for the offense, defense and coaching staff.


Lions’ Offense Grade vs. Bears

D-

Detroit came alive in the second half, but it was too little, too late for the team. All day long, the Lions struggled with execution on the field, and struggled to not only run the ball but throw it as well. The Lions gave up 4 sacks on the day and only managed to rush for 90 yards while throwing for 258. In the red zone, the team fell apart and sustained a pair of turnovers when points could have changed the complexion of the game. From Jared Goff on down, it wasn’t the most crisp effort for the Lions, who will need to find a way to pay off their chances at scoring in order to win. Detroit was also a woeful 4-11 on third down and 1-3 on fourth down. This isn’t the winning recipe for a team like Detroit against a decent defense. While it wasn’t all the offense’s fault, the game could have looked different with some more cashed in opportunities.


Lions’ Defense Grade vs. Bears

D+

A week after stifling the Ravens and Lamar Jackson in decent fashion, the Lions defense shockingly didn’t seem to have many answers for Justin Fields. Chicago’s offensive line played much better in the game, but Detroit was not able to generate pressure and only collected 1 sack. The defensive backfield struggled in a big way giving up 188 passing yards, most of which came in big spots. Detroit’s front got gashed in a big way by David Montgomery to the tune of 106 yards and 2 scores. The Lions hung in there most of the afternoon, but the defense got off to far too slow of a start in the game when they needed a much better effort early on.


Lions’ Special Teams Grade vs. Bears

A-

Jack Fox continues to be a maestro at punting the ball, racking up 166 yards in punting and downing a pair of punts inside the 20 yard line. Ryan Santoso hit both of his extra points which was solid, even though he never got a shot to attempt a field goal. In the return game, the Lions did a decent job, with Corey Ballentine picking up 94 yards on kick returns. As a whole, the special teams wasn’t at fault for Detroit’s struggles this week.


Lions’ Coaches Grade vs. Bears

D

There’s simply no explaining away Dan Campbell ignoring putting obvious points on the board late in the fourth quarter with a chance to cut into the Chicago lead. Though the players seem to agree with the move, it still feels like a mistake. It wasn’t aggressiveness in that case, but rather a failure in judgement given the way the game was trending and momentum had shifted at that point. The good news? That was perhaps the biggest issue the staff had, but it was still a galling one given how it may have impacted the eventual outcome of the game. Campbell’s aggressiveness is something to watch the rest of the season for the Lions now.

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