Thus far in 2019, the Detroit Lions don’t have a ton of wins to show for their effort on the field, but at the very least, they have been in every single game thus far.
According to one NFL analyst, that could be good enough for right now even if the Lions haven’t been finding the winning all that easy so far.
In Sports Illustrated’s MMQB column, writer Albert Breer took time out to comment on where Detroit is currently at, and as he said, the team is plenty competitive and not getting blown out of games. While the Lions haven’t managed to win many close contests, they also haven’t been drilled as they have been in the past.
Here’s a look at what Breer had to say about how the Lions are trending thus far this season and what they have done right and wrong on the field:
“The Lions are plenty competitive—they haven’t been beaten convincingly yet. But after Sunday’s loss in Oakland, it’s apparent they still haven’t quite learned how to close games out. That should come in time.”
Lions fans are impatient, wanting to see the wins and immediate success come, but if there is a measure of pride, it’s that the team hasn’t been blown out of the water at all. Nearly every game the Lions have played has come down to the final snap, and Detroit hasn’t put enough of them away in order to be a successful team.
In spite of that, the Lions are still an average squad, and as Breer thinks, they will be able to manage to get things on the right track in the future.
Lions Close Losses
The defeat against the Raiders was merely another in a line of frustrating losses this year. It started with a tie in the desert after the Lions were up big on the Arizona Cardinals. After two straight wins over good competition, Detroit fell into a cold snap again, losing a close game to the Kansas City Chiefs, and then the Green Bay Packers. They battled the Minnesota Vikings tooth and nail in a loss before rebounding for a close win against the New York Giants.
As a whole, the Lions still have an opportunity to do some damage in 2019. Even if the team doesn’t make the playoffs, they could send a message that they are on the upswing for 2020 with a solid finish to the season over the next few months. Something like that could go a long way for the team, the front office and the coaching staff as they attempt to get their program pulling in the right direction.
Lions Must Improve Defense
If there’s one side of the ball where things have been lacking and must turn around, it’s on the defense. The team isn’t rushing the passer well, is playing poorly on the back end and as a whole, simply isn’t generating the type of consistent effort they need in order to win big and have a consistent effort.
Thus far, complaints about the team’s offense have been minimal. The fact of the matter is, if the Lions played consistent, winning defense, it would cover up a lot of the minor troubles they’ve had offensively. The defensive side of the ball is why Matt Patricia was brought to Detroit in the first place, and it’s why he must clean that up most of all for the team to have a successful future.
For now, the Lions are losing more big games than they win, but not everyone is convinced the sky is falling.
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