What they're saying about the Lions after the Week 13 win

Twitter was kinda brutal to both Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn after the win…

Johnson is not Scott Linehan–and that’s a good thing–because Linehan could never seem to find a way to convert on 3rd and short.


We really need CJ and Houston back.


Bad day for Ben Johnson

The Lions offensive coordinator has earned all kinds of praise for his aggressive, innovative scheming and play-calling. It’s put him in line as one of the leading head coach candidates this coming offseason. But Johnson won’t want to put this game call on his resume.

To make it brief: Johnson got away from what was working early. He got away from the attributes that make him a brilliant young mind. He took his foot off the gas and left the car in neutral for far too long.

Dan Campbell talks all the time about complementary football — the need for the offense and defense to help one another. Johnson letting the offense idle with predictable, conservative play-calling for far too long negatively impacted the Lions struggling defense (more on them below). Losing center Frank Ragnow hurt, no doubt. But where was the power run game and smashmouth blocking? Where was the play-action? Where was getting the ball to the playmakers (aside from Sam Laporta) in space? You know, the hallmarks of the Lions explosive offense…Hint: they weren’t in Johnson’s game script.

When Johnson did step on the gas, his offense ran over the Saints. The end-around TD to Jameson Williams was a brilliant call. A play-action pass to Sam LaPorta (unstoppable in this one) was a great call. Too few and far between for the normally excellent Johnson and it darn near cost his team a win.

That’s an accurate assessment and fair criticism. The Lions got up so quickly and easily that it appeared they didn’t do the old Bill Walsh “step on the opponents’ throat” approach, but shifted into cruise control almost too long.

1 Like

Houston may help if the ankle injury hasn’t affected his ability to bend and come around the corner. If he’s back for the last couple of weeks before the playoffs, and solely in a designated pass rusher role, Houston should help.

Don’t think CGJ is realistiic.

Hamza Baccouche #BNL




I’ve said it since the beginning of the season: if Ben Johnson didn’t have this offense scoring 30+ a game, we’d be talking about Aaron Glenn’s defense a LOT differently.

1 Like

I honestly think we need CJ more right now……hope he can somehow make it happen.


I agree. I said it during the game yesterday, it was the worst called game of the year by Ben


Kyle Brandt is paying way too much attention to his biceps and how much of them to show in his muscle t’s, than what’s happening on the field! He gives his game ball to a starting RB who runs for 25 for 105 as opposed to a rookie TE who went 9 for 140… NO game balls out of four voters for LaPorta?! C’mon maaaaaan!!!


Yep, which is why “This team is building for long term success” is a red herring… When Ben is doing this for Bryce Young or Justin Herbert next year as opposed to Goff, we’ll see that going all in with Quentin Bohannon and counting on a resurgent Charles Harris was a blunder. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong!

Post of the day.

This is what pissed me off. When you put up 21 in 7 minutes keep with that until they stop you. We went finesse on the fourth drive after imposing our will.

We had consecutive drives in which we had 1 run in our 7 plays and it went for 13 yards. We were averaging 8 yards per carry after the first three drives . And you go 1 run and 6 pass over the next two drives. And then Ben realizes his mistake and doubles back to the run game but he’s allowed the Saints enough time to make adjustments.

1 Like

You will be :smiley:

Dan is an incredibly bright offensive mind. The meathead affect disguises it but as long as we stay healthy this offense is going to be incredibly potent for several years. The personnel is simply too great not to be.

1 Like

They were doubling St.Brown all game, so Laporta.
They were stacking the box against the run, answer, again, Laporta.

I think more play-action on first and second down would have helped.
The offense was put in third and long way too often.

Huge jump from coordinator to being a HC. Not sure how Ben will do honestly.

The team wasn’t scoring 30 a game at the start of the season

  • Passing Yards


274.0 PYPG

  • Rushing Yards


137.3 RYPG

  • Total Yards Per Game


411.3 YPG

1 Like

How many games has he even called the plays? How you can make THIS leap is pretty impressive since he’s NEVER been an OC or passing game CD or Running game CD at any level. He took over play calling duties for like 5 minutes between firing Lynn and promoting Johnson. What “brilliance” do you attribute to him during our current 9 win season?

Nothing is lost on Dan, that’s my impression.

There is nothing about the offense that is the least bit mysterious to him. It is, after all, complex but not rocket science. And playing as a TE for a decade in the league means there really isn’t anything he hasn’t had to learn on the offensive side of the ball. And that means how that impacts the defensive side.

And, he has good instincts. Just look at his success when he’s gambling. If Ben came down with appendicitis next week I would trust DC to be able to call the plays without much drop-off. He’s a smart cookie in spite of his persona.

For the record, I do not believe DC is some knuckle dragger. But I’m also not going to credit him for the success of this offense. Is he the one saying “go for it!” Yes. He’s been good at that, but Ben is the one dialing up the plays that HE designs. DC may very well be in step with what he’s doing, but Ben IS special and not a guy you are just going to replace and move on. We will have an offensive setback when we lose him. I’m sticking the flag in the ground on that and I understand no one will be proven “right” until we lose him and what happens after.

Fair enough, but I’m not overly worried about losing Ben.

In part, because Goff helped design the offense and knows it like the back of his hand.

The toughest thing to replicate will be how Ben sets up the defense early in the game with looks designed to be exploited later. But again, it’s not THAT complicated for an astute underling to pick up and run with. And Ben has his flaws too, he’s bogged down the offense with his playcalling at times.

Not to mention the fact that Brad has given Ben a loaded offense to play with. I hope he sticks around at least one more year, but I’m confident his shoes can be filled before too long. There would be a learning curve for the next OC (assuming that isn’t DC) but I think we’re going to be just fine for the foreseeable future on offense.

1 Like