By Ashley Dunkak
FORD FIELD (CBS DETROIT) – Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Houston started Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Houston did not start the second half, and he said he agreed with the decision after struggling in coverage early.
“If I kept playing like that, I would have took myself out and put somebody else in there,” Houston said. “I felt that I let my team down – offense, defense, special teams, my coaches.”
The Bengals amassed 364 passing yards in the game and averaged 15.2 yards per completion.
“They’re going to make some plays,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said. “They’re a good offense, they have good players, just like any offense, but we gave up two many big ones. We did a decent job against the run, but there were too many big pass plays in the game, some of which you’re not going to get a very good pass rush [because] they’re keeping a lot of guys in to protect. You’ve got to prevent those with coverage.”
A. J. Green corralled six catches for 155 yards, including one for 82 yards that put the Bengals on the board early. Jermaine Gresham caught four balls for 64 yards, and Marvin Jones secured four catches for 57 yards. Green, Jones and tight end Tyler Eifert all snagged touchdown passes, and Green, Gresham and Eifert all had at least one catch of 30 yards or more.
Cincinnati’s first score – that 82-yard bomb to Green – and its second score – a 12-yard pass to Jones – came against Houston. Houston said the double moves gave him issues, but he also mentioned that he gets those every week now. Nonetheless, he had trouble with them again Sunday, and the Lions sat him down to start the second half.
“You have to try to remain confident,” Houston said. “That’s why he took me out, let me get my head. Once you’re getting double-moved week in and week out, it kind of slows your aggressiveness down … They just let me go out and get my head right and then let me come back in and be more aggressive.”
Of course, not all Cincinnati’s success falls on the shoulders of Houston, but he accepts the blame.
“This loss is on me,” Houston said. “I got double-moved a lot during the game, and then that causes you to not be so aggressive. So if you see something, you’re so slow to break onto it, so you just couldn’t find a rhythm because I kept getting double-moved.”
Houston vowed to be better. He repeatedly mentioned the double moves as a source of consternation, which could have been even more frustrating considering Schwartz said the team worked on dealing with double moves in practices leading up to Sunday’s game.
“I don’t think we did a very good job in coverage,” Schwartz said. “We didn’t want to give up big plays to 18 [Green]. He goes and makes a huge play early in the game, and it was something that was a big point of emphasis all week. It was double moves and things like that, stuff we worked on all week, and we didn’t execute well enough in that.”