ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -The Detroit Lions have been up and down this season with their offense leading the way.
The Mike Martz-directed and Jon Kitna-led offense has scored in bunches at times, living up to preseason hype.
The Lions three touchdowns to an NFL-record 34-point fourth quarter in Week 4's win over Chicago and scored 36 points in the season-opening win at Oakland.
But in nine of the past 10 quarters, including Sunday's 34-3 loss at Washington, Detroit's once-mighty offense has not scored a TD.
``I'm always concerned about the consistency part,'' Lions coach Rod Marinelli said Monday. ``That's what I want us to be - a very consistent team.
``I think we'll be fine. I don't think you put on panic signals.''
The offensive line, which has given up an NFL-high 27 sacks, is taking a brunt of the blame. But the position players shouldn't take all of the heat.
Kitna's overall statistics are solid, but he has more turnovers (nine) than TDs (eight).
Only two NFL teams are averaging fewer yards rushing a game, perhaps because Kevin Jones is still coming back from a foot injury.
Martz, hailed by some as an offensive genius, hasn't been exempt from criticism because his pass-happy ways appear to hurt the team's chances on the ground.
Offensive tackle Jeff Backus said he and his linemates didn't do their job against Washington, but said the offense struggled in part because it didn't seem to take what the defense was giving up.
``To be honest, it felt like the Redskins dared us to run the ball on them,'' Backus said. ``They sat there and played coverage and rushed four. Their middle linebacker was lining up 7 or 8 yards deep.
``They said, `If you want to run the ball, run. But we're taking away your pass.' That's what it felt like.''
The Lions have shaken up their first-string line, benching guard Damien Woody and replacing him with Stephen Peterman. Woody was inactive against the Redskins even though he was healthy.
``Guys just have to go and compete,'' Marinelli said when asked about Woody being dropped from the rotation. ``It's the NFL.''
Woody sounded motivated Monday, saying: ``I'm going to bounce back. By no means is this over with.''
While some are predicting doom and gloom after Detroit was routed again - it lost 56-21 at Philadelphia in Week 3 - Marinelli is fired up and optimistic because his team is only one game behind the NFC-North leading Green Bay Packers heading into an off week.
``I am the source of energy here, and I'm excited about getting ready to go after the bye,'' Marinelli said. ``I told them this morning, my expectations are the same for them - very high.
``We hit a bump, but it's a marathon.''
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