The Detroit Lions haven’t had much to feel good about during the 2022 season, especially on defense, but the tide of that seems to be changing in a major way as the year progresses on.
After a couple of big wins, the Detroit defense is starting to settle in, and looks as if they’re finding their groove. It’s more than a feeling, though, and the Lions are showing some major signs of a turnaround on that side of the ball according to Aaron Glenn.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, November 17, Glenn talked about where his group is at, and as he said, he’s seen more than enough evidence that there has been a shift to the positive on that side of the football. The belief is spreading for the team.
“I said it last week and (will) continue to say it again. Belief is a powerful drug and our guys are really starting to believe. You see that in their body language. You see that in the way they play. It’s important we continue on that path because you start to see the trend of our guys really starting to really feel it,” Glenn said.
The close wins have managed to breed confidence in between the lines, and the Lions have tuned out the negativity to this point in order to turn things around according to Glenn.
“Again, if you just keep yourself in this cocoon like we have done and just go out there and improve and continue to to believe in who we are, believe in this team. Believe in the defensive players that’s around. We’re young and we know that, but again, just to get a chance to do that and to feel that that just breeds winning,” he said. “I’ve been a part of that. I’ve seen that happen. I’ve seen the change. Once you start to do that and once guys start believing and understanding how to win, those things start to really propel you as a team in general.”
Perhaps the wins might be what helps turn the tide for the Lions overall. Glenn sees that playing out as the team just keeps gaining in major confidence through the midway point of the season.
The drug of belief has taken over the locker room, and it will be fun to see how far it could carry this team the rest of the way.
Lions Defense Rebounding to Help Win Games
How did the Lions gain their belief edge back? A few weeks in a row, they’ve been counted on in crunch time to make big plays that won the game.
While Detroit’s offense would keep them ahead with key touchdowns in both Week 9 and Week 10, the defense had to make the final round of plays in order for the team to actually claim victory in a couple of narrow games.
Detroit’s defense intercepted Aaron Rodgers three times and snuffed out the Packers on fourth down late in their victory. Then, in Chicago, the Lions got a stunning sudden-change interception from Jeff Okudah as well as a couple clutch sacks late in order to secure the one point win.
The confidence factor is huge for the Lions, and given the fact that the defense salted away a few wins with key plays, the positives seem to be endless at this point in time.
Glenn Sees Challenge in Saquon Barkley
To win three games in a row is not going to be easy for the Lions, especially given the stiff challenge that the Giants provide.
Glenn explained that while Daniel Jones provides some different factors as a quarterback in being able to extend the play, it’s running back Saquon Barkley that has a lot of his attention on defense.
As Glenn said, he marvels at a lot of Barkley’s ability on the field, which will make him a very hard player to prepare for
“You talk about vision, you talk about being able to break a tackle and take it the distance? That’s the one trait that you see with him that’s unlike any other back,” Glenn said. “The ability to make sure we get the ball down is important with that player. Population to the ball is important with that player. This jump cut, this ability to burst. It’s probably the best I’ve seen this year as far as the running back. Even the good ones we’ve been against. I think he’s leading the league in receiving. That tells you the story of who this guy is, so it’s a hard job but I think our guys are up for the job. Each week we have to go against a good player and it is what it is.”
The Lions are no longer shrinking from the challenge of the top players they are playing, and they might even be gaining a bit of confidence to boot. That’s hard to beat in terms of good vibes as the season pushes on.