Most of the day, the Lions couldn’t stop the run with enough effectiveness in order to have defensive success. Moving forward, that’s a big problem they are going to have to rectify if they want to win some defensive battles on the field against any opponent much less the better teams they will face.
The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here!
Speaking with the media on September 12 after the game in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com, Detroit defensive lineman and linebacker Trey Flowers admitted that the biggest problem on defense as he saw it was the Lions’ inability to stop the run consistently on the day.
“Definitely got to stop the run, that’s first and foremost. When you can’t do that, everything’s wide open, you got play action wide open, passes down the field wide open. So it starts with stopping the run,” Flowers explained to the media.
How can the Lions improve? For Flowers, it involves doing the little things better and getting back to fundamentals.
“We fight hard, it’s a team that, we’re not going to give up. I think we got to do the things in between better,” Flowers explained. “That’s just, when you settle down, we started off fairly fast, but when you settle down and football needs to be played, back to those fundamentals of setting the edge, stopping the run, tacking, leverage, things like that I think we need to clean up when it comes to the big game.”
Flowers is one of the team voted captains for 2021, so it would be wise for the Lions to heed his advice and find a way to right the ship, especially in the trenches. Doing that will allow everyone else to catch their breath in other spots on defense like the backfield.
Lions Defense Gashed By 49ers’ Run Game
It’s clear that San Francisco is dynamic on offense regardless of who they have running the ball. The team has a good offensive line, and their scheme allows them to operate solidly no matter what. On the afternoon, San Francisco gashed the Lions for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. As part of that, the 49ers rushed for a solid 4.7 yards-per carry average on the day. While it isn’t easy to expect a team like Detroit to eliminate San Francisco completely, the Lions could have done a better job matching up in the trenches and finding a way to make life tougher on the 49ers.
As Flowers was quick to remind, the Lions had a difficult challenge this week as a whole given what the 49ers can do on the field offensively.
“I think just the way they play obviously, it’s a good team. We kind of hurt ourself in some situations. A lot of motion, pre-snap motion, things like that. Just their style I think is a unique style, stretch and cut. So we just got to clean it up and do a better job,” he said.
If there’s a silver lining for Detroit, they just played one of the most disciplined, well-coached offenses they will see all season. It should offer good preparation for the rest of 2021 on film.
Flowers’ Career Stats and Highlights
It’s safe to say Flowers is coming into a huge season in Detroit. His massive contract makes him a bit of a target for those who want to see more production. In his Lions’ career, Flowers has 73 tackles, 9 sacks and just 2 forced fumbles. In his career, Flowers has racked up 30 total sacks and 237 tackles. Obviously, these numbers prove the talent is there, so being able to work Flowers into the right scheme and keep him healthy could be more the issue for the team at this point in time. In Week 1, Flowers put up 4 tackles plus 1 forced fumble as part of a solid effort.
Here’s a look at some highlights of Flowers from his first season in Detroit in 2019:
Obviously, Flowers has talent himself, but he is also blessed with the ability to lead and he is making no mistake what he wants to see his defense improve after one week on the field.
READ NEXT: Nick Bosa Praises Penei Sewell’s NFL Debut