The Detroit Lions were living up to the preseason hype.
They were roaring right along. Then they slammed right into a butt-kicking on Sunday.
"Those guys, they played well. They kicked our ass," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of the Baltimore Ravens after their 38-6 throttling of Detroit. "It's a credit to them."
Winners of four straight and 3-0 on the road heading into Sunday, Detroit was stopped cold as host Baltimore rolled early to a 28-point first-half lead and never looked back.
Detroit ran 72 plays in the game but netted just 337 yards. In contrast, the Ravens recorded a mind-spinning 9.1 yards per play, spearheaded by a stellar showing from Lamar Jackson, who had 357 yards and three touchdowns through the air and also rushed for 64 yards and a score.
"Lamar beat us," Campbell said. "He hammered us with his arm. He threw the ball extremely well. He ran when he needed to, and we did not handle it well."
All of Jackson's brilliance and the Lions' inability to respond added up to Detroit's worst loss since Week 8 of 2021 when it lost by 38 to the Philadelphia Eagles. That 44-6 loss dropped the Lions to 0-8. This one has them at 5-2. Campbell was the head coach then and is now, obviously, but times have changed.
In Campbell's opinion, Sunday was just a bad day in which early ills couldn't be remedied.
"Offensively, we never got in a rhythm early," he said. "We just kind of felt they were playing with house money over there. You get up so much by a certain portion in that game then it's, shoot, they're kinda doing whatever they want to do."
The Lions, held to their lowest scoring output since Week 7 of last season, didn't get on the board until Jahmyr Gibbs broke through for a 21-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. By that point, the Ravens had racked up the game's first 35 points.
"When you get in that hole, what happens is everybody starts pressing," Campbell said. "You're doing more than you're asked to do and because of that it creates more problems. And that's on both sides of the ball. It's in all three phases really. Look, we just didn't play well, and I hate to say it, that's one of those games. It's one of those, we just could not get out of our own way. It's a credit to those guys over there. They played outstanding football and they rubbed our nose in it."
The Lions will look to clean off their noses and dust off the loss before heading home, where they'll host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 8.
Just how the Lions respond from their butt-whooping this Sunday should show next Monday.
"It's here, it happened, it'll motivate us moving forward," Campbell said. "The shame would be if we don't use this to get better for next week and it bleeds over into the Raiders. That would be the ultimate shame."