The Detroit Lions' offense has been steady this season, but it's also fair to say it could be better in some areas.
Last week, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson noted an area in need of improvement. While that wasn't necessarily rectified immediately, there's little else to quarrel with regarding the Lions' offense on Sunday,
Even though the Lions were without Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit didn't stop scoring. They opened with a touchdown drive courtesy of David Montgomery, and quickly pushed the lead to 14-0 after a takeaway.
When they needed to create distance, Johnson opened up his playbook. An expertly-timed flea flicker reverse touchdown pass to Sam LaPorta broke the game open. Later, Johnson impressed with a unique design on a direct snap to Montgomery. Imagine the meeting room--'Frank, can you do this?"
In order to move the ball, Johnson relied on short passes and screens. He put the ball in the hands of Montgomery, who rushed for 109 yards. He targeted Josh Reynolds, the most experienced big-play wideout at his disposal. The result was a 76-yard performance from him as the leading receiver.
Johnson and the Detroit offense reacted well to adversity and excelled. With this in mind, it was perhaps the most impressive job Johnson has done since he became offensive coordinator.
Dan Campbell praises Detroit Lions' offense for stepping up
Following the game, Campbell understood where the credit should be directed on the offensive side.
"Any time you lose a guy like (Amon-Ra) St Brown it hurts. But David Montgomery has been an excellent addition. He fits us like a glove. His running style, what he's able to do (in the) screen game, pass game. Having Kalif (Raymond's) versatility. He helps us in the slot. (Sam) LaPorta has come on again. He just keeps getting better and better. We just spread the ball around a little bit more. The guys, when their number gets called, they are making plays for us. As long as that happens, you can overcome and we were able to do that today. It was a great job by Ben (Johnson). The game plan was outstanding."
The Lions' offense is likely to improve as they get healthier and fully incorporate everyone. That should be a scary thought to the rest of the league, with the muscle Johnson is flexing as a play-caller.