The Detroit Lions had designs of turning around their defense in 2020, and it was quite possibly the biggest goal for a team that struggled the last few years.
Unfortunately for the team, that hasn’t happened whatsoever. The team’s defense is only getting worse, and right now, is looking like they are bottoming out coming into the most critical time of the schedule.
As a whole, Detroit’s defense hasn’t improved much if at all considering the statistics. The Lions are just one of a handful of teams allowing 30 points or above this season on the defensive side of things, which is a very ugly total for the team.
The Lions are giving up an average of 30 points per game this season. There are only four teams allowing more.
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 9, 2020
These numbers point to the fact that the Lions have been miserable on the one side of the ball that is most important this season. Detroit’s schedule eases up again, but the Lions still have to stop the other team. They’ve been having a very miserable time doing so this year consistently.
Lions Defensive Changes
Detroit’s defense tried everything to take steps forward this offseason. They added plenty of new blood including big names such as Jamie Collins, Desmond Trufant, Danny Shelton and Jeff Okudah. They even added a new defensive coordinator in Cory Undlin. Unfortunately, the team has seen the same inconsistency that they saw before in other seasons. The strange nature of the 2020 offseason likely hasn’t helped, but it’s tough to make excuses for the defense at this point given the depth of all the problems and what has gone wrong on the field.
It’s important to remember that this is Matt Patricia’s third season with the team, and the coach has had time to put a clear imprint on the team. So far, that hasn’t gone well for the Lions, and change has been incredibly slow to come for the roster, especially on defense. That’s not a good look for a coach who figured to be a defensive guru when he came to town in 2018 and is suddenly looking far from it.
Lions Defense Statistics
This season, Detroit’s defense has been plagued with inconsistency in every single way. Their pass rush has struggled, and the team has been up and down on the back end while battling injuries. Detroit also hasn’t forced enough turnovers and is generally unable to get off the field against good teams and good offenses. As a whole, the Lions place 24th in the NFL in total defense through Week 9 this season. They continue to give up points and constantly look underprepared, which is bad news for defensive coordinator Cory Undlin.
The Lions will have to count on Undlin and Patricia correcting mistakes down the stretch if they want a chance at climbing back the rest of the 2020 season. Sadly for them, the stats paint the picture of a team that is reversing course in a huge way rather than showing any tangible signs of improvement.
The uglier the stats get for the team, the further away from correction they seem to be.
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