The Detroit Lions entered week 11 of the NFL season with a 0-8-1 record and still the only team in the entire league who have yet to win a game. As a result, head coach Dan Campbell opted to switch things up by allowing his backup quarterback Tim Boyle to make his first-ever NFL start. Boyle started in week 12 against the Cleveland Browns, but the Lions still saw similar results.
They were downed by the Browns 13-10 in a close contest that saw Boyle go 15/23 with 77 total yards thrown. He did not have a touchdown on the day but did have two interceptions.
“Overall good experience,” Boyle said after loss to the Browns on Sunday, via Detroitlions.com. “But at the end of the day didn’t play well enough to win and that ultimately falls on me. A lot of room to grow in that department.”
The 27-year-old signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in May 2018 and spent three seasons with the franchise as a third-string quarterback. While he spent three years with the Packers, he never did get an opportunity to start a game in the NFL until Sunday against the Browns. He did feature in a number of games, but had always come off the bench.
While he didn’t have a spectacular performance, he did impress his coach and teammates. Boyle was definitely better in the second half than the first half, going 8-10.
“He was solid,” Campbell said of Boyle’s performance after the game, via Detroitlions.com.
“He ran the offense. We had no communication errors. He was efficient. Look, he was a little rusty. A couple of those throws. He and (D’Andre) Swift weren’t on the same page on the first interception.
“Look, I wanted to be smart too. I didn’t want to throw this kid to the wolves. That’s not fair to him, either.”
Boyle got the start in place of the injured Jared Goff, who suffered a strained oblique in Detroit’s draw against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 10. The timing couldn’t have been better for Boyle though, as he had just returned from a broken thumb injury that he had suffered in preseason.
It remains to be seen who will get the start for the Lions in week 12 as it is a short week for Detroit, who will feature in their traditional Thanksgiving game on Thursday afternoon. The Lions host the Chicago Bears and will be hoping to send their fans home happy on the holiday by picking up their first win of the season. While they have had some close calls and probably should have at least two or three wins already, they have still yet to get over the hump.
If they are going to be able to pick up a win on Thursday though, they will need to improve on both ends of the field but especially with their offense. The passing game has been a problem all year and Lions fans are just hoping Boyle can help.
“I mean look, it’s no secret that we need to be better in the passing game,” Campbell said. Time will tell if Detroit can make the necessary adjustments to improve.