Lions OC Joe Lombardi: Play calling 'not good enough'

Here's one to file under the "duh" drop-down on your Internet browser.

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi on his play calling:

"Not good enough, I guess," Lombardi said, via the Detroit Free Press. "We got to score more points."

Thanks, Joe, quite enlightening. You have any ideas on how to deploy that elaborate plan?

As of now, your offense with Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, rookie of the year watch candidateAmeer Abdullah and franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford has put up a pathetically putrid 23 points in the last six quarters.

The Lions rank 25th in total offense (thanks in part to garbage-time stats), 31st in rushing offense (compiling only four rushing first downs, fewest in the NFL) and are tied for third-most in turnovers.

Don't fret Detroit, Lombardi is confident his unit will turn this careening Ford around.

"We're very optimistic the direction we're going," Lombardi said Thursday. "We've had a couple of rough games, obviously, but you're never surprised. This is a hard league. It's hard to win. It's hard to win on the road. But we're still very optimistic in the direction that we're going."

Yes, it's just two games, but glaring incompetence has been disconcerting. The OC has had some terrible play-calling stretches this season and hasn't been able to recalibrate the steering when his ship stumbles off course. 

Lombardi entered the season on the proverbial hot seat after grounding a previously productive Lions offense. Through two games his lack of balance and timing of play calls remains questionable, at best.

The struggles aren't all on Lombardi, as the Lions' terrible offensive line has short-circuited most of what he and Stafford have tried to accomplish. Good coordinators are able to help overcome those shortcomings.

Three simple options, among many: go up-tempo more frequently (which is when the Lions have looked their best), add additional blocking help or vary the play calling to keep pass rushers off balance.

Though 18 games, Lombardi hasn't shown the deftness to effectively utilize the offensive talent provided or the apt timing to take advantage of opponent's schemes.

Oh, and the Denver Broncos visit Sunday night, bringing one of the stingiest defenses and fiercest pass rushes to Detroit. Lombardi needs to hang on to that optimism as long as he can. Soon it'll be sapped.

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