Most folks understand the Detroit Lions had a horrible season defensively in 2019, but finally, the depths of their struggles has been revealed statistically.
Detroit had nearly the worst defense in the league by most metrics in 2019. As a whole, the Lions allowed too much yardage, giving up 6,406 yards on the year. As was pointed out, to put up numbers like that, it means the team has been giving up over 400 yards of offense a game.
Additionally, Detroit’s pass defense bottomed out as a league-worst outfit in 2019. The team allowed nearly 300 yards a game through the air, which is a miserable total.
Certainly, injuries helped complicate matters for Detroit’s defense, but that’s not an acceptable excuse for such awful numbers. Expectations were high for the Lions in 2019 given how they finished the season, and now, the team will have some major reconstructing to do in order to remedy this situation for the future.
Lions Need Huge Defensive Changes
Obviously, the fix for Detroit involves making some dramatic changes on the defensive side of the ball. The team’s group wasn’t good under Paul Pasqualoni, and he seems like the most acceptable fall guy given Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn are already revealed as coming back. Position coaches should also be on the chopping block on that side, given how Detroit’s defensive front, linebacking group and secondary seemed to regress most of the season.
It’s not wise to expect the Lions to change philosophically given Patricia remaining with the team, but it would be wise for the team to infuse some newer blood and younger ideas into the scheme. That’s the likely hope as the offseason gets going.
Offense Drawing Rave Reviews
Opposite from the trouble of the defense has been Detroit’s offense. They’ve withstood injuries in 2019 to keep the team in games. As for the offense as a whole under Darrell Bevell, big guns like Marvin Jones admitted earlier this season that they were happy with what they seen so far and admits he loves the offense that Bevell is running. That’s true for his teammates in the room as well, who have been able to see the group finally reach some of their potential very early on.
“We love it in our room. No complaints. He’s a great mind, he’s done it for a while and he’s had great success so we want to continue that,” he said.
Even in spite of all the injury problems, the Lions managed to finish with a top 20 offense in the NFL between the run and the pass and have seen exceptional balance between both groups. After struggling with those elements for decades, finally, there is some hope that the Lions might have found an offense which can be sustained and can help them be successful.
It’s safe to say the team’s offense and defense couldn’t be more further apart as they embark on a significant offseason in 2020. For these reasons, the biggest changes need to be on that side of the football for the team.
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