Caldwell: Lions' offense has 'no comfort zone'
Allen Park — Lions players and coaches haven't been able to pinpoint the reason for their struggles on offense in 2014, but on Tuesday, coach Jim Caldwell provided an honest assessment of the maligned unit.
"We have no comfort zone," he said. "We have no area that we are comfortable with at this point in time with our offense."
The Lions offense hasn't scored a touchdown the past two games, helping lead to its first two-game losing streak of the season. The team ranks 28th in the NFL averaging just 17.9 points per game, and the offense has struggled to support the league's top scoring defense.
Turnovers haven't been a major problem this year as the Lions rank 15th in giveaways. They won the turnover battle in Arizona, 2-1, in Week 11 and drew 1-1 with the Patriots in Week 12.
Yet, the Lions haven't looked explosive on offense in recent weeks and have only scored more than 24 points once this year — 35 in Week 1.
"We have too many playmakers not to be explosive," wide receiver Calvin Johnson said.
Still, the Lions have been unable find a rhythm this season besides their three consecutive comeback wins over the Saints, Falcons and Dolphins.
"The reason why I'm not comfortable is because we haven't scored enough points, more so than anything else," Caldwell said. "Oftentimes it doesn't matter how you score as long as you get them on the board. So right now, we just have not been consistent enough to get that done in so many different areas."
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who's completing just 58.8 percent of his passes, said he's comfortable in the offensive scheme run by first-year coordinator Joe Lombardi. Even though his stats continue to show regression, he's worried about helping the team out of its funk.
"I'm trying to get this offense in the end zone as much as possible," Stafford said. "Whatever it takes to get that done, I'm going to do it."
Injuries have played some role, and if the Lions don't have left tackle Riley Reiff (knee), they'd be without their top two offensive linemen Thursday against the Bears. Their top three tight ends — Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria — have all missed games, and Johnson and Reggie Bush have had lingering injuries.
"We make no excuses," Caldwell said. "Our job is to win games and win games period. … The minute you start building and looking for excuses you're going to find that it's going to crop up all over the place."