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Lions offense is still bad and struggles in 45-10 London blowout vs. Chiefs

The Jim Bob Cooter era opened with a blowout for the Lions, who couldn't do much of anything right on Sunday morning.

Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions drove the field, but settled for a 35-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead to start the game. Nothing good happened for the Lions after that and the Kansas City Chiefs cruised to a 45-10 win at Wembley Stadium in London.

Week 8 was the debut of Jim Bob Cooter as the offensive coordinator for the Lions, but the team's ability to score was far from improved. While Detroit entered Week 8 at No. 29 in points scored, 10 points tied the lowest offensive output of the season for the Lions.

It was the worst loss for the Lions since a 48-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, which came near the end of a 2-14 season.

The insertion of Cooter was expected to come with an increased emphasis on running the ball, but the Lions certainly didn't look like a team that placed a heavy priority on getting Joique Bell and co. going. On the opening drive of the game, Bell took a carry 32 yards down the left sideline, but it ended up being his first of only seven carries on the day.

Instead the Lions put themselves in third-and-long situations by relying on Matthew Stafford too much, which led to incompletions, sacks and interceptions. Stafford ended the day 22-of-36 passing for 217 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while the Chiefs racked up six sacks.

On the other side, Alex Smith was efficient and effective at moving the ball down the field. His numbers weren't prolific, as he finished 18 of 26 for 145 yards with two touchdowns, but he fought off pressure from the Lions well and broke open the game with big runs, including a 49-yarder and a 12-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Charcandrick West also continued his solid play in the place of the injured Jamaal Charles, following up his five yards per carry against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7 with 97 yards and a touchdown against the Lions on 20 carries.

3 things we learned

Joe Lombardi wasn't the problem

The struggling Lions offense isn't really an indictment of Cooter either. It's just a talent deficient team that doesn't have many players other than Calvin Johnson making an impact. The 30-year-old receiver became the quickest to reach 11,000 career yards, reaching the milestone in his 127th game, and finished with five receptions for 85 yards, but Johnson can't be the only option.

When taller cornerbacks from the Chiefs like Sean Smith were able to take Johnson out of a play, not much else was available for Stafford who had little time behind a struggling offensive line. With so much passing and so little commitment to establishing the run, things snowballed for a team that has some changes to make.

Digital paint is hard

For some reason, the NFL's strategy for Wembley Stadium all season has been to write team names in white outlines and fill in those outlines on TV with digital paint. It has produced distracting results with floating letters that won't stay inside the lines.

The solution for the Sunday was to just put a giant blob of color in the end zone instead:

I mean...I guess that's better?
This is what the Chiefs offense is supposed to look like

Without Jamaal Charles Charles, the Chiefs have managed to find offense and Sunday morning was a display of exactly the type of team that Kansas City needs to be. It established the run and didn't ask Alex Smith to do too much. They asked him to avoid mistakes and lead the offense on sustained drives.

He did so to the tune of 45 points, relying heavily on the team's two best pass catchers: Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin, who each had a touchdown.

The Chiefs even found a way to creatively insert De'Anthony Thomas into the offense, giving him a carry on an end-around that resulted in a touchdown and on two passes, one of which went for 23 yards.