What’s wrong with the Detroit Lions defense? – Detroit Lions Blog

DETROIT — If nothing else, the Detroit Lions are entertaining.

According to Elias, the Lions (1-3) are the only team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to lead the NFL in points per game and rank last in points per game allowed in the first four weeks of a season .

In four games, the Lions and their opponents have scored a combined 281 points. That’s the most for any team through four games in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Their 48-45 shootout loss to Seattle on Sunday featured the most combined points and total yards in a game this season.

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And that’s the story of the Lions’ 2022 campaign so far. On the one hand, the Lions offense is one of the best units in the league, with a range of weapons thriving in freshman offensive coordinator Ben Johnson’s plan. On the other hand, the defense was arguably the worst in the NFL, ranking last in the NFL in yards per rush (5.6), third allowed conversion percentage (53%) and red-zone efficiency ( 87%) after giving up a touchdown on 13 of 15 red-zone carries this season. Although head coach Dan Campbell knows the lack of success affects players, he said he’s not panicking about his defense just yet.

“Well, I know we lack confidence. It’s very clear to see, it’s an element,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said of the defense. “We lack a lot of confidence, and so certainly to do that you have to have production in games and be successful and stop your opponents, get saves, things of that nature.

“So we lack confidence in some areas, and then again, we still make mistakes that fall into our boat as coaches. It’s up to us.”

Strategist Jared Goff has been on fire this season. He had the third-most passing yards in the league (1,126) behind Justin Herbert and Josh Allenwith 11 touchdown passes for a single interception for a total QBR of 67.1, which is eighth best in the NFL.

Goff also helped the Lions set an NFL record for starting the season by going 11 straight quarters with a touchdown scored. He enjoyed increased confidence in the second year with the Lions organization and creative callings from Johnson. He also has powerful offensive weapons such as tight end TJ Hockenson, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and running backs. jamal williams and D’Andre Swift, all of whom make big plays.

Williams leads the league with six rushing touchdowns, the most by a Lions player in the first four weeks of a season in team history.

St. Brown missed last week’s action with a sprained ankle but is off to a record start with six or more receptions in nine straight games since last season – the longest such streak in team history.

Offensively, the Lions have a ton of firepower, but defensively they struggle – everywhere.

This must stop. And it starts with the finer points.

“It’s just the little details of the coaches, the players, everyone. We just have to make sure we’re on the same page with everything and obviously make saves on third downs. I think third downs were criticism. We didn’t win a lot of third downs today. We just have to find a way,” the Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye told ESPN after Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, adding that the pressure was mounting for the unit to improve.

“Good God, it’s the pressure. It’s always the pressure,” he added. “You should feel pressure even if we were 3-0 or 4-0. It’s the pressure in this league just in general to improve because teams are improving at the moment so we have to find a way We went back to the drawing board to find a way to stop.:

Lions defensive lineman Michael Brockers wants to see more emphasis and urgency on knowing what to do in red zone situations and coming together to figure out what hurts the team defensively, which he says starts during game preparation.

“We have to focus on turnovers but that comes with envy. You have to get your guys who want to go out there and tackle, want to go out there and hit, want to go out there and not [put] your face on the ball, but put your eyes on the ball,” Brockers told ESPN. During the game, yes, you know you have to knock him down, but at the same time, if another guy comes in for the tackle and you see he’s getting ready and he’s got the ball loose, that’s just that little focus and stuff like that. It starts in the preparation throughout the week.”

The loss of safety Tracy Walker III for the season to an Achilles last week didn’t help matters. But even with the poor defensive performance, Campbell and the players say they still have faith in defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

Campbell told reporters on Sunday he would sit down with Glenn this week to consider how they can fix their mistakes, but the last thing he said he wanted to do was start pointing fingers so early in the game. season.

“We can’t let anyone separate us because, as dismal as it is right now, we’re not as far as it looks,” Campbell said of his team’s improving defense. . “But until we do something about it, let’s stop talking about it, [it] has no importance. We can steal from each other and we can say we’re going to be better, but until we actually do it and commit. And we need to train better, and [the players] have to take it on their shoulders, man. They need some responsibility.”

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