The Detroit Lions had been missing big plays from their defense in recent weeks, but it didn’t take long for them to turn one in against the New York Giants.
Ironically enough, a familiar face picked up a backward pass and rumbled all the way to the end zone for the Detroit score. Devon Kennard, a former member of the Giants, turned in the big play when Jarrad Davis stormed up the middle and blitzed Daniel Jones, who made a bad decision to try and throw the ball out of the backfield to his running back.
Instead of a big play for the Giants, the play went for a Detroit touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
The Lions’ defense hadn’t gotten an interception, fumble recovery or turned in a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings a week before, but quickly got back on the scoring train with the play by Kennard.
Obviously, Kennard has to revel in the fact that he made this play against his former team. A few years back, Kennard elected to sign with Detroit in free agency, and he’s been another find by general manager Bob Quinn. So far in his Detroit career, Kennard has been a sack man for the team, putting up plenty in 2018 in his first season with the team. Kennard had never scored a touchdown in Detroit, so it was a nice feather in his cap in order to do so for the Lions, especially against New York.
Kennard is an aggressive player, so it was nice to see his instinct to score pay off. It was his first touchdown in a long time which was fun to see. Defensive players don’t usually get a chance to get in the end zone, and for Kennard to do it in this manner against his former team was certainly fun to see.
Kennard Wanted Turnaround
After an embarrassing whitewash against the Minnesota Vikings, finding a way to be better was a common theme, from the players to the coaching staff. Interestingly, Kennard was amongst the first to stand up and make a statement about where things needed to go.
“It’s disappointing, Very frustrating. Nobody’s coming to save us. We need to bond together to try and figure things out and find ways to stop these offenses,” he told the media.
Detroit’s run defense has been a big part of the problem, and Kennard isn’t sure what the team isn’t doing now that they have done before.
“I can’t put my finger on one thing that is or isn’t being done. Collectively, we aren’t getting the job done and that needs to change,” he said.
Matt Patricia agreed with his assessment.
“We got to just keep pounding away to get it better,” Patricia told the media honestly on Monday. The statement was specifically about the rush defense, but it could have been a metaphor for the whole entire group.
How does Patricia propose that? By staying aggressive as a teacher and emphasizing what the Lions can do better in terms of fundamentals. As he admitted to the media, he believes in Detroit’s scheme, but thinks the team needs to find a way to continue to improve. As he said, he believes that falls on him as a teacher with some of the things that he can emphasize week to week for Detroit to improve upon.
With plays like this, Kennard and the Lions have to be pleased with how things have turned around.
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