Getty Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell raved about the team’s offensive coordinator Ben Johnson in Week 10.
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will likely be interviewed again for head coaching positions this offseason. But if he decides to leave the Detroit Lions, it probably won’t be because he doesn’t feel valued.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell raved about Johnson’s recent offensive playcalling a day after Detroit defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 41-38 in an offensive shootout.
“I thought, Ben [Johnson] “It was a heck of a game,” Campbell told reporters on Nov. 13. “Gosh, I just felt like he was two steps ahead.
“I think it’s hard to say he had a better game offensively. I was really proud of him. It was great.”
The Lions racked up a season-high 533 yards en route to 41 points. Detroit had near perfect balance as its offense racked up 333 passing yards and 200 yards on the ground.
With Johnson as offensive coordinator since the start of the 2022 season, the Lions have posted three 500-yard performances in 26 games. Prior to 2022, Detroit last recorded 500 offensive yards in a game in Week 6 of 2015 against the Chicago Bears.
The last time the Lions had at least 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in a single game was in Week 13 of the 2013 season against the Green Bay Packers.
Ben Johnson’s Lions offense gets high praise from Dan Campbell
Week 10 was a game for the ages for Detroit on offense. Lions quarterback Jared Goff averaged 10.1 yards per pass and had just 10 incompletions on 33 attempts.
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season with a career-best 156 receiving yards. Goff had two passing touchdowns, one to Brown.
With a healthy backcourt, the Lions also dominated on the ground. David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs led Detroit to 200 rushing yards, an average of 6.5 yards per carry.
Montgomery surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark. A 75-yard touchdown contributed significantly to his rushing total. Gibbs had more than 100 yards from scrimmage, including 77 rushing yards and 35 receiving yards.
“Offensively, it was the best game we’ve played so far. I felt like we were explosive,” Campbell told reporters on Nov. 13. “I thought Goff made some crucial throws. Our receivers performed really well not only in the passing game, but also in the running game.
“We wanted to be physical and the people on the sidelines did that. That’s why we had explosive runs.”
For the first time in several weeks, the Lions were also healthy on offense. Campbell didn’t leave this unit out of his superlatives on November 13th.
“At the end of the day, man, that offensive line, that five up front, really sets the tone,” Campbell said. “We needed them. They are the engine under the hood. Man, they can do it.”
Johnson also probably gets the Lions’ offense going. As Detroit’s talented offensive players execute his plan, Johnson puts all of the team’s players on that side of the ball in places where they can thrive.
Campbell trusts the offense that the game is on the line
With the Lions’ offense performing at its best and the team’s defense struggling, it wasn’t all that surprising to see Campbell give Johnson’s team the game late in the fourth quarter.
Campbell elected to go for fourth-and-2 at the Chargers’ 26-yard line rather than kick a field goal as the game was tied 38-38 with 1:47 left in regulation.
Johnson called for a passing play in shotgun formation. Goff found rookie tight end Sam LaPorta for a 6-yard gain.
This allowed the Lions to run out the rest of the clock and score the game-winning field goal as time expired.
“I wanted to finish with the ball,” Campbell told reporters in his postgame press conference on Nov. 12. “I trusted our guys, I trusted Goff. “When you get in that situation, there’s a lot of time left when you shoot a field goal.”
Considering how successful Johnson’s play calling was in Week 10, it’s hard to disagree with that decision.
After nine games, the Lions are second in yards per game this season. They also rank sixth in points per contest.
Dave Holcomb is a sports reporter who covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions for Heavy.com. Originally from Pittsburgh, Holcomb has covered college and professional sports for media outlets such as Fansided, Rotowire and Yardbarker. More about Dave Holcomb