29-0 loss to Patriots has to be ‘rock bottom’

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — This is what rock bottom looks like: Losing to a rookie third-string quarterback, in his first career start, with your old defensive-minded head coach calling offensive plays on the other sideline — and getting shut out to boot.

And if it’s not rock bottom, then Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions have a lot more problems than anyone realizes.

The Lions’ league-best offense failed to score a point Sunday for the first time all year, and their league-worst defense made New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe look like a young Tom Brady in a disheartening 29-0 loss at Gillette Stadium.

“To me this is about as bad as it gets,” Campbell said. “I mean, this is worse. This is where we’re at. And sometimes it’s going to get bad before it gets better. And I believe we hit rock bottom and so now the only place to go is back up.”

Patriots wide receiver Jacoby Meyers (16) runs into the end zone for a touchdown as Lions cornerback Chase Lucas (36) tries to defend in the second half Sunday, Oct.  9, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass.

The Lions, who led the NFL in total and scoring offense entering the week, had a season-low 312 yards of offense Sunday in a game that was somewhat reminiscent of their 2014 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Lions lost 17-14 that day, and Bills players celebrated by hoisting former Lions coach Jim Schwartz — then Buffalo’s defensive coordinator — on their shoulders after the game.

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