While the Ravens have been crippled by injuries at this point, they are holding their own with a 1-1 record after a big win last Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. In that game, the Ravens still put up a solid 481 yards of offense including 251 on the ground.
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As usual, the player that makes all of this go is Lamar Jackson. The quarterback is much more than just a runner, able to expand plays with his legs to throw on the run. As defensive lineman Michael Brockers explained in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com on September 23, it will be on the Lions to be able to flock to the ball in the hopes of creating mistakes as well as forcing the Ravens to throw the ball down field.
“He’s a tremendous talent. He can get it done with his arm or his legs. The biggest thing about him is you have to get population to the ball. Everybody has to be able to tackle, wrap up,” Brockers said. “He did have some turnovers so we have to look at that as well. It’s all about population, and everybody getting to the ball on defense.”
There’s no mystery as it relates to what the Ravens want to do this week, and it involves running the ball. For the Lions, that means stepping up and keeping the Ravens in longer distances on third downs.
“They want to come down and run it down your throat. They’ll run the ball 50, 40 times a game,” Brockers explained. “That’s what we’re prepared for, that’s a big deal part of their offense is running the ball, controlling the clock. Just coming out, first and second down, and put them in positions where Lamar has to throw the ball.”
Forcing the Ravens to be one-dimensional can be easier said than done, but it’s clear the Lions game plan will center around trying to wear down Jackson and stop the run. Perhaps the biggest variable in the end is if the Lions can force a few of the turnovers Brockers is talking about.
Michael Brockers Called out by Dan Campbell for Setting Tone
If the Lions think they can get a solid effort out of Brockers in order to pace them this week, that is probably a good bet. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, September 21, Lions coach Dan Campbell singled out Brockers as someone who has been doing what it takes to lead the team and has been showing up with elite effort on the field.
As Campbell explained, he saw players stepping up and cited linebacker Alex Anzalone as someone who would fly around and make plays on the field wherever the ball was, and it’s something that Campbell is very happy to see.
“I think Brockers is another example of that, those are people who set the tone. I thought he played. I thought he played well,” he said.
Already, Brockers has looked like a leader and has brought the heat with his play. That’s a good sign for the team’s defense as he continues to get comfortable.
Brockers’ Career Stats and Highlights
The impact Brockers has made after he was a first-round pick of the Rams out of LSU back in 2012 cannot be debated. He has been an anchor in the middle of the team’s line and a player that is capable of packing a punch in the pocket. Brockers has put up 387 total tackles, 28 sacks, 9 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles in his career in Los Angeles. Moreover, he’s been to the Super Bowl and is a veteran leader the team has been able to count on when he has played in the league.
Here’s a look at some highlights:
So far this season in Detroit, Brockers has done a decent job thus far with 9 total tackles and 1 sack. The Lions will want to continue to see Brockers bring some of his patented pocket pressure as well as his leadership to the team. That’s an important variable to mention for a Lions team that is trying to change their entire culture overnight, and Brockers could be a great leader for the team that has seen a major change this offseason.
With him setting the tone in a short turnaround for Week 3, that might only be more of the case.