ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP)The Detroit Lions have an extra day to prepare for the Las Vegas Raiders next Monday night.
Coach Dan Campbell knows how he’s going to use it.
In the aftermath of Detroit’s 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Campbell is going back to the basics.
“As you get into the season, you start shaving some practice time on the fundamentals to work a little bit more on the scheme,” he said Monday. “You are hoping you have gotten enough fundamentals through camp, and you know what, we have got to get back to that – that’s where I can help these guys.”
Campbell said last Wednesday’s decision to lighten practice might have added to the problem.
“I thought it was the right time to back off, but we probably needed a little more,” he said. “We should have gone out and done just a bit of full speed when we were getting ready to play a physical team.”
No one expected the NFC North-leading Lions to go 16-1, especially Campbell, but he was upset by the manner of the loss.
“Losing in itself really stinks, but the fact that we were never in the game – that’s what really burns,” he said. “You just want to know you’re in the fight, and when you aren’t, that’s a real bitter pill.
“At the end of the day, we’re 5-2 and where we are going to have a problem is if we back it up with another loss.”
Jack Fox averaged 46.0 yards on four punts with no returns and didn’t allow any kickoff returns. It wasn’t a huge factor in the game, but things could have gotten even worse without him.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The Lions have struggled against mobile quarterbacks, but Lamar Jackson is in his own category. Two years after throwing for 287 yards and running for 58 as the Ravens stunned Detroit on Justin Tucker’s game-ending 66-yard field goal, Jackson threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns along with 36 yards rushing and another score.
Rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs finally showed the playmaking potential that led the Lions to pick him in the first round as a runner and receiver. Gibbs rushed 11 times for 68 yards and his first NFL touchdown in a game where Detroit had to abandon the run early, and he added nine receptions for 58 yards.
Between injuries and a gambling suspension, WR Jameson Williams has had trouble staying on the field in his first two seasons. Now that he’s healthy, he’s supposed to be the big-play weapon the Lions haven’t had since Calvin Johnson. In three games, he’s only caught four passes for 55 yards, and he didn’t pull in any of his six targets against the Ravens.
RB Mohamed Ibrahim (hip) was taken off the field on a stretcher and spent the night in Baltimore after undergoing surgery. He was back at the team headquarters on Monday, able to walk on his own.
“He dislocated it and they had to put him under to get it back in,” Campbell said. “It went back, which is good, and he’s obviously walking around, so that’s good news.”
Ibrahim, who was making his NFL debut, is expected to miss several games. S Kerby Joseph left the game to be evaluated for a head injury, but was removed from concussion protocol.
146 – The number of rushing yards Baltimore gained after the Lions held their first six opponents to an average of 65 per game. The Ravens, though, are one of only two teams with 1,000 yards rushing this season. The Raiders have 480 – the fewest of any team that had played seven games through Sunday.
Campbell made it clear: use the extra day between games to work on the fundamentals and erase another Ravens fiasco from the memory banks. Las Vegas should be the ideal bounce-back opponent, especially in front of a raucous Monday night crowd at Ford Field.
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