Considering the tough environment of Arrowhead Stadium, it could've been a lot worse for the Detroit Lions' offense in Week 1. It also could have been a lot better, as they scored just 14 points and their total yardage would have been their 10th-best output last year. They went just 5-for-15 on third down too.
"Probably offensively, (the biggest thing to clean up) is the tempo. Man, we’ve got to improve our tempo. That’s probably (at the) top of the list right now and then third down offensively,” ""- Dan Campbell
Ben Johnson spoke to the media on Thursday. The Lions' struggles against the Chiefs were a natural topic, and the Lions' offensive coordinator met it head on.
Ben Johnson takes blame for the Lions' offensive struggles in Week 1
Via Kyle Meinke of MLive, here's some of what Johnson had to say.
"Wasn’t our best stuff offensively, running through some Week 1 issues,” offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said. “More than anything, the procedure stuff is the stuff we got to get cleaned up. We had some pre-snap issues, whether it was snapping the ball early on the motion that resulted in a fumble there on our third drive. But that’s kind of -- first-time silent cadence, playing on the road, loud environment, and we’ll learn and grow from that."
Johnson added how he can simplify his wording on play calls to improve the flow and tempo of the Lions' offense (via SI.com).
"I think that's a reflection of of me probably biting off more than we could chew with some of the play calls," said Johnson. "Got a little wordy. We were a little bit slow getting the substitutions. I have to do a better job getting the play to the quarterback. But yeah, we are focused on tempo. For us, it doesn't necessarily mean how quickly do we get the ball snapped each play, but it is once we get out of the huddle, let's align with urgency and put some stress on the defense. And we didn't feel that up to our standard last week.""
Campbell mentioned how the tempo of the Lions' offense needs to be better, and that was pretty clear after the season opener without his saying so. Johnson surely felt it too, even if it hadn't been discussed since the game against the Chiefs ended (let's assume Campbell and Johnson have talked about it). Head coach and offensive coordinator are on the same page, and Johnson will not point the finger at the players for his unit's Week 1 showing.