The chants started in the fourth quarter of the Lions' blowout loss to the Eagles, courtesy of the few thousand fans who were still in the building: We want Blough! We want Blough! That's the sound of an 0-8 team with a starting quarterback who continues to struggle.
Dan Campbell eventually lifted Jared Goff for David Blough, but not until the final drive of a 44-6 meltdown. Blough was strip-sacked for a six-yard loss on his second snap. Campbell's decision is not a sign of things to come. Asked if he might shorten Goff's leash in the second half of the season or make a quarterback change altogether, Campbell said Tuesday on the Stoney & Jansen Show, "I don't see a change."
Goff passed for a season-low 171 yards against the Eagles, and the Lions matched their season low in total offense. He has one touchdown, four picks and a passer rating of 72.8 over the last four games. He's third in the NFL in pass attempts and tied for 22nd in touchdowns. He's also throwing to a ragtag group of receivers behind a depleted offensive line.
"Nothing was perfect about what we did offensively (Sunday), but I didn’t feel like Goff was the issue," Campbell said. "There’s a number of things that came up in that game that, man, he doesn’t have time or we’re not open or the route depth. Now, he’s got a hand in it, like everybody does, but I don’t see a change coming at all."
Campbell did say he intends to "help more with offense" coming out of the Lions' Week 9 bye. Detroit ranks 26th in the NFL in yards per game and 29th in points per game. Goff ranks 28th in yards per attempt.
"I need to be a little more just involved in helping with it," Campbell said. "I think I’m trying to be so involved with everything that maybe I need to be a little more involved with offense."
Sunday's loss was rock-bottom for the Lions, or so they hope. They're the only winless team in the NFL and they're on a 12-game losing streak dating back to last season. With nine games remaining, thoughts of 0-17 are creeping into the team's psyche. Safety Tracy Walker was the first player to bring it up this year after Sunday's loss. Campbell isn't having it.
"Guys feed off each other. Whatever the strongest force is in that building, that’s where you can take it. So if we all start spiraling out of control and feeling sorry for ourselves and we start thinking that we are 0-17 and we’re never going to win a game and if we continue to jump offside and if we turn the ball over and if we fall down when we catch balls and if we can’t pass protect and if we can’t tackle and if we get knocked off the ball, then no, we won’t win a game. But I don’t see that happening because my job is to fix it, and I’m going to fix it," he said.
That will start this week. The players are mostly free, but Campbell will spend the bulk of his time in Allen Park watching tape and looking for solutions. He said he probably won't "step back" and take a breath until the weekend. And even then, he said "I'm going to have my stuff with me."
"So when I know the fam is either in bed or doing something else, I’ll have it and I’ll continue to study it," he said. "But I do think that I’ll get out of this building at least for a little bit."
And what's the over/under on beers when he does?
"It's a good question," Campbell said. "I would say I can’t give you that, because it could very easily be one or it could be 30."