Thus far this season, the Detroit Lions have brought the noise on offense, but their defense hasn’t exactly answered the bell.
While the Lions have been in position to win all of the games in the first three weeks of the season, they’ve only put away one. The biggest reason, in the end, may be the team’s leaky defense.
In Week 3, that defense cost Detroit dearly again. Leading by 10 in the fourth quarter, the Lions weren’t able to generate any stops late. While the offense surrendered the ball with some wonky decision making, the defense couldn’t pick them up.
For that reason, they’ve been called a Week 3 loser by Yahoo! Sports and analyst Frank Schwab. As Schwab pointed out, the Lions have been good to start the year, but their defense is leaving a lot to be desired and “isn’t doing its part” for a team that should have a better record.
“The Lions are 1-2 but it feels like they should be a win or two better. Detroit lost in Week 1 despite scoring 35 points. They looked like the better team through three quarters Sunday. But the defense still needs a lot of work,” Schwab wrote in the piece.
Work is what the Lions will have to put in. At some point, the defense is going to have to steal a game. They had a chance in Week 3, but couldn’t find a few more stops late in the game to get off the field.
With a better defense, the Lions could be near the top of the league. Instead, they are lamenting another sub-.500 start. The goal is firmly in front of the team at this point in time on one side of the ball.
Aaron Glenn Predicts Lions Defense to Improve
Speaking to the media on Thursday, September 22, Glenn was asked for his assessment of where the Lions are at. As he said, it’s been a mixed bag, but the Lions have some improvement to hang their hat on at this point in time.
“I think we’ve done some stuff really, really well. Obviously there’s some things that we gotta work on, but I’ll tell you what, you look at our young guys and you look from game one to game two, you see growth there,” Glenn said. “You look at some of the guys that I spoke of before that we count on from game one to game two, you see growth there. It kind of marries up to what our head coach expects, (which is) a race to improve. So if we’re measuring off that, I think those guys have done a pretty good job now.”
While the team may be growing, the lack of depth on the front and back end is starting to show itself. The Lions have been hit by an untimely rash of injuries, but the team hasn’t managed to get winning play completely down the roster.
If the Detroit defense can come around, the Lions might be dangerous late in the season. It’s going to take a big effort for that to happen, though, and the team will have to hope with some luck as well as some honed-in play.
Statistically, Lions Defense Lagging Behind
While the team’s offense has a lot to like thus far, the defense has left a lot to be desired on the field.
Detroit sits 26th in pass defense through three weeks of the season, allowing 265.7 yards per-game on average. They have also allowed five touchdowns this year, and have a long catch allowed of 54 total yards. The Lions have allowed a total of 547 total yards through the air in a pair of games.
Against the run, the Lions have been a bit better, but not much. The team sits 27th in that category as well, allowing 142.3 yards per-game and seven total touchdowns. Add it up and the Lions aren’t great in total defense, placing 28th overall.
Obviously, there’s a lot to improve if the Lions want to reach their goals. There’s a long way to go, and so far, the team might be getting let down by a leaky defense most of all.
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