Last year, the Detroit Lions had a uniquely bad pass rush. Opposing quarterbacks averaged nearly 3.05 seconds to throw the ball against Detroit’s defense. No one else in the league was over the 2.95 mark. They also ranked last is ESPN’s pass rush win rate—which measure whether a pass rusher is able to beat his block within 2.5 seconds.
Last year, the Lions finished with a pass rush win rate of 24 percent. This year, that number is at 19 percent. The next closest team? The Cincinnati Bengals at 30 percent. Oh, and in case you were wondering where they fell when it comes to run stop rate…. well, you probably already know. They’re 29th with a rate of just 27 percent.
Lions coaches continue to downplay the issue. Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said this week that their treatment pass rush is dependent on their game plan for the opposing quarterback.
“Some guys, it’s really hard to get there, and the emphasis of that quarterback is not necessarily to try blitz him or hit him,” Undlin said this week. “You obviously want to put pressure on him, put the clock on him. Each guy is different.”
There’s certainly some truth to what Undlin says, but with a pass rush so incomparably bad, it’s hard to defend what the Lions defense is—and isn’t—doing.
- Jeff Daniels gave all the feels about being a Lions fan to Rich Eisen:
- Here’s a look at the players the Lions protected from practice squad poaching this week:
For Week 3, the Lions have protected the same four practice squad players from last week:
QB David Blough
RB Kerrith Whyte
TE Isaac Nauta
CB Dee Virgin
— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) September 22, 2020
- Not sure it really means all that much, but the Lions use motion at the snap at the lowest rate of any NFL team through two weeks:
Week 2 motion at the snap report, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Analysis video trackers.
This is specifically only when the man is motion is moving at the snap, which is where we’ve found there to be an advantage for the offense. pic.twitter.com/Wav6d07EQg
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) September 22, 2020