ALLEN PARK, Mich. — ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Matthew Stafford insisted the Detroit Lions' offense can still perform without Calvin Johnson.
It didn't look that way in Sunday's 22-9 loss at Green Bay.
The Packers sacked Stafford five times — matching the most he has been sacked — slowed down speedy running back Reggie Bush and shut down the passing game.
"We have to have guys step up," Stafford said Tuesday. "I have to play better. As an offense, we know we have to play better."
Stafford was sacked just three times in the first four games in part because Johnson could get separation from defensive backs and open up opportunities for teammates.
The Packers, though, were able to get away with single coverage against receivers who couldn't get open.
"It forced Matthew to hold the ball a little longer," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "I think that played into it. It's not always about an offensive lineman versus a pass rusher. Sometimes it's about a wide receiver versus a corner. I thought it certainly had impact on the game."
None of Detroit's wide receivers had more than three receptions or more than 30 yards receiving at Green Bay. Stafford was relegated to throwing more often to tight ends and running backs, who combined to make 16 receptions.
Johnson was inactive because of an injured right knee and couldn't say if he will be able to play for the Lions (3-2) at Cleveland (3-2) on Sunday.
"We shall see," Johnson said Tuesday as he walked out of the locker room with his right knee wrapped.
Detroit also didn't have No. 2 receiver Nate Burleson for a second straight game because he broke his left arm in a car accident.
"Both of those Calvin and Nate are great players and Calvin might be one of the greatest, if not the greatest of all time," said Lions receiver Kris Durham, who caught a touchdown pass late in the game against the Packers.
"Obviously, you're going to have coverages roll Calvin's way and take a lot of pressure off the run game and everyone else.
"We just have to figure out how make some plays for Matt because he's standing back there with a lot of pressure in his face."
Stafford said he doesn't think about excuses, such as missing receivers or getting sacked so much, when he looks back at Sunday's loss and ahead to the matchup with the Browns.
"I know where I can play better," he said. "All I think about is how can I help this team win."
In the loss to the Packers, Stafford was 25 of 40 for 262 yards without one TD and didn't turn the ball over.
Even if Stafford's top targets on the outside are lackluster options — Durham, Ryan Broyles and Kevin Ogletree — on Sunday, he plans to put them in a position to have success.
"It's my job to try to throw the ball as accurately as I possibly can and on time," Stafford said. "I'll continue to do that no matter who is out there."
Lions offensive guard Rob Sims said he and his linemates had "a rough day," at Green Bay and said creating bigger holes for Bush and better protection for Stafford is part of the plan against the Browns.
"We got to run the ball and we've got to keep him clean," Sims said. "We've got to right our ship up front, which we will. We got to figure out how to run against this good Cleveland defense and we need how to keep Matt standing up because they're good at sacks, too."
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