Joe Burrow was able to rest his voice on the road with a rout, quieting frustrated fans at Ford Field, a week after getting sent to the hospital after taking a hit to the throat.
Burrow tied a career high with three touchdown passes and he helped the Cincinnati Bengals match last year's victory total with a 34-11 rout against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
“The sky is the limit," Burrow said.
Facing the lowly Lions can certainly help any team play up to its potential.
The Bengals (4-2) were 4-11 last season, a year after winning just two games during coach Zac Taylor’s debut season.
Detroit (0-6) trailed 10-0 at halftime and could not rally in the second half as it did in closely contested setbacks against San Francisco, Baltimore and Minnesota. The Lions failed to score until Austin Seibert made a 35-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter.
“That was brutal," said first-year coach Dan Campbell, who looked and sounded more furious than he did after previous losses. “We weren’t even in that fight.”
The Lions are the NFL's only winless team this season and have lost 10 straight, going back to last year, for the league's longest active losing streak.
“We have been on an incline, getting better every week, but we didn’t do that today," said Detroit cornerback Amani Oruwariye, who picked off Burrow for his career-high third interception. “We still haven’t played our best football, but today wasn’t close."
Burrow finished 19 of 29 for 271 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Chris Evans on the game's opening drive. He threw a short pass to Joe Mixon on fourth down that the running back turned into a 40-yard score to on the opening possession of the second half to give Cincinnati a 17-0 lead. The second-year quarterback tossed a 2-yard touchdown to C.J. Uzomah early in the fourth, putting the Bengals ahead 27-0.
Burrow did throw one interception, but the Lions failed to take advantage as they did with many opportunities in their latest loss.
Jared Goff was 28 of 42 for 202 yards with an interception.
“The yards per attempts must’ve been really low," Taylor said. “That was a great showing by our entire defense."
When Goff had a chance to connect with T.J. Hockenson on a potential touchdown pass trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, he threw a pass high and wide.
“I think we were on different pages about where that was going," Goff said. “But I have to hit him in stride and give him a chance."
Detroit turned it over on downs after the next play at the Bengals 38.
By the time Goff started throwing more accurately, it was moot.
Goff connected on some passes during a 13-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by D'Andre Swift's 2-yard run with 2:15 left. Goff made a 2-point conversion pass to cut Detroit's deficit to 23 points as empty seats outnumbered occupied ones at Ford Field.
“That team is not 30 points better than us," Campbell said. “Our focus wasn’t there today, and that’s on me. When your team gets whipped like that, you have to look at yourself first.”
DOING IT ALL
Bengals rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase had four receptions for 97 yards and sprinted up the field to make a block near the end zone that helped Mixon score.
“When we have guys that are doing that, first-round picks, that says a lot about him as a player and us as a team," said linebacker Logan Wilson, who made his fourth interception and sixth of his 18-game career.
The Lions were shut out in the first half for the third time in four weeks. They haven’t scored a touchdown in the first or second quarters since their opening drive in Week 2.
The Bengals have won seven straight in the series since Detroit’s previous win in 1992.
Bengals: G Jackson Carman, who returned from the COVID-19 list, left the game in the third quarter because of an illness and Taylor did not have an update on his condition after the game.
Lions: DE Nick Williams injured his left ankle in the first quarter.
Bengals: at Baltimore next Sunday.
“We’ve got a big division game coming up and that’s where we’ve struggled," Taylor said.
Lions: at Los Angeles against the Matthew Stafford-led Rams next Sunday.
Goff, who was acquired as part of the Matthew Stafford trade, was asked after the game if he had any early thoughts on facing the Rams.
“No," he said.
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