The Detroit Lions have had problems on defense in recent weeks, struggling to get the right number of players on the field. The mistake has happened 2 times in as many weeks, and even the team’s defensive coordinator is perplexed as to what happened.
Cory Undlin was asked about the Lions again having just 10 men on the field. What Undlin lacked in an answer as it relates to why, he more than made up for with his own embarrassment once again.
Cory Undlin, on the Lions' defense having 10 men on the field for another play Sunday: "It's embarrassing, is what it is. And I'll say this: It's just poor, poor coaching."
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) November 10, 2020
Similarly, Undlin said that he was frustrated by the mistake, but interestingly enough didn’t go into much detail about how to prevent it from happening. He also cited poor coaching as playing a role in the error once more. Noticeably absent from the statement was any sort of an explanation.
Detroit’s defense is bottoming out so far this season, and Undlin hasn’t had the answers. The Lions are giving up far too many points, and having the defense not be able to trust their staff to get the job done is quite a glaring problem during the midway point of any season.
Undlin had better start to come up with answers for his team’s substitution problems. If they persist, things aren’t going to get any better for the Lions.
Lions 10 Men Problem Has Happened Before
During the team’s ugly 34-20 Week 9 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, the Lions once again made one of the worst kind of errors a team can make when they had 10 players on the field on defense. Here’s a look at the visual evidence of the play.
Guys, you're not going to believe this, but on Cook's 70-yard TD, Lions had 10 men on the field. pic.twitter.com/bEG5m5QSFq
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) November 8, 2020
On the play, the Vikings blasted through for an easy looking 70 yard touchdown, aided greatly because the Lions didn’t have enough players on the field to slow them down. The worst news about this mistake for Matt Patricia and the Lions is the fact that it also happened in Week 8 a pair of times.
Undlin was asked about the plays last week and his feelings on it and offered a blunt assessment regarding why it happened which sounded a lot like what he said this week. It was simply a case of bad coaching on his part and nothing else.
Lions Looking Disorganized
For a team to have problems with substitutions and personnel it often speaks to confusion on the sideline and with regards to what packages and plays are being run. Given the offseason NFL teams just had, a degree of this was to be expected, but for it to be playing out in Week 8 and Week 9 during important games is a tough look for the Lions.
There’s no excuse for Patricia and Undlin not to have the right players in the game in key moments or have this kind of confusion midway through a season no matter what changes have come in 2020. It’s a sloppy look and something which could eventually cost Patricia his job moving forward considering the way the mistakes have been playing out.