By Jeff O'Brien

The Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals have been on the wrong side of NFL history so far this season.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 10: Greg Joseph #1 of the Minnesota Vikings kicks the game winning field goal against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

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The Lions became the first team to lose two games in the same season on game-winning kicks of 50-plus yards with no time left, and they did it in a three-week span.

The Bengals (3-2) were part of the first game marred by three potential winning field goals that were missed in the fourth quarter or overtime.

On Sunday at Ford Field, both teams get a chance to bounce back from a deflating defeat.

Detroit (0-5) may not be favored to win any of its remaining games, leaving open the possibility that the franchise has the first 0-17 season, 13 years after enduring the NFL’s first 0-16 season.

After watching the Lions on film, Bengals receiver Tee Higgins insisted he sees a really good team.

TAMPA, FLORIDA – AUGUST 14: Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on during the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

“This is not going to be a cakewalk,” Higgins said. “The record says 0-5. They obviously lost by game-winning field goals and things like that.”

Detroit dropped its latest game when Minnesota’s Greg Joseph made a 54-yard field goal with no time remaining. In Week 3, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker connected on a league-record, 66-yard field goal as time expired.

Even though coach Dan Campbell is in his first year leading the franchise, he knows a lot of its fans have been suffering through a lot of setbacks for several decades.

“Nothing I’m going to tell them is going to make them feel any better,” Campbell said. “All I can do is try to prove it.”

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell talks to Detroit Lions quarterback David Blough (10) on the sidelines after a play during the first half of an NFL preseason football game between the Detroit Lions and the Indianapolis Colts in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Friday, August 27, 2021. (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Cincinnati’s rookie kicker, Evan McPherson, is eager to prove he can do the job after missing field goals late in regulation and in overtime against the Packers.

BANGED UP BURROW

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to play after having a precautionary trip to the hospital after last week’s loss to the Packers. The second-year quarterback got hit in the throat at some point and it affected his ability to talk. Burrow, who is playing on a surgically repaired left knee, has been sacked an average of three times per game in his career.

The biggest hit Burrow took against Green Bay appeared to be when he ran on a third-and-long and was tackled by two defenders. Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor told Burrow he should not have put himself in that position.

“He wants to help the team get first downs,” Taylor said. “But at the same time that’s part of protecting our football team as we need him out there playing and not exposing himself to some unnecessary hits.”

GOING SHORT

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Lions quarterback Jared Goff is averaging just 6.6 yards passing per attempt, his lowest since he was a rookie with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, to rank No. 25 in the NFL.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 10: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions throws the ball to Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Goff’s shaky accuracy, getting sacked nearly three times a game and a lackluster group of wide receivers have contributed to the problem.

“I’m trying to find the guy who’s open every play,” Goff bristled. “If that happens all the way down the field, that’s the guy. If it’s not, then it’s not.”

MORE MIXON

Bengals running back Joe Mixon had just 10 carries for 33 yards last week as continued to recover from an ankle sprain, and is expected to be busier at Detroit.

“He has good energy and seems to be moving around pretty good,” Taylor said.

Mixon missed most of last season with a foot injury.

CAREER YEAR

Lions linebacker Charles Harris is playing as Miami hoped he would have after drafting him with the No. 22 pick overall in 2017.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 03: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears fumbles the ball after bring hit by Charles Harris #53 of the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on October 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Harris already has a career-high four sacks, surpassing the total he had over three seasons with the Dolphins. His four-game sack streak is tied for the longest in team history.

Harris, Chicago’s Khalil Mack and Carolina’s Haason Reddick are the three NFC linebackers with a sack in four games this season.

COACHING CONNECTIONS

Campbell was just getting into coaching a little more than a decade ago, when he met Taylor, who was a graduate assistant for then-Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman.

“I quickly learned like, ‘OK, this kid’s pretty sharp,'” recalled the 45-year-old Campbell, who is seven years older than Taylor.

When Campbell was an interim coach in Miami in 2015, Taylor was his offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator was Lou Anarumo, who currently leads Cincinnati’s defense.

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