Embed from Getty Images Justin Coleman said Monday he feels the Detroit Lions defense is close to being what head coach Matt Patricia intended for it to be, “One of the most terrifying defenses you can go against.” How can that be you ask yourself? Let us take a look.
The Lions rank 30th in the NFL in total defense, the team gave up a season high 509 yards of offense to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. The Lion rank near the bottom of the league in every major defensive statistical category and are dead last in interception rate in the NFL, but Coleman said he is confident the Lions are close to terrifying opponents.
“Nobody wants to sit there and go against man coverage all day,” Justin Coleman told reporters. “And I feel like we cover pretty well and we’re just going to have to finish, that’s all. We just got to finish.”
The Detroit Lions showed signs of being a very solid defensive unit last season, when they posted one of the NFL’s best run defenses in the second half of the season. This season started rough. But against two of the NFL’s best running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley, the Lions run defense shown some teeth. Holding the two elite rushers to a combined 109 yards rushing on 35 carries at 3.1 yards per attempt.
Getting off the field has been difficult for the Detroit defense this season. The Lions are averaging more defensive plays per game 67.9 than any team in the NFL. Last season the Lions were able to make the issues that hampered the defensive unit. Lions played fewer defensive plays 942, or 59.9 per game than any team in the NFL in 2018.
Coleman said Patricia delivered a pointblank message to his defense Monday during team meetings. His message was simple“He said, ‘Find a solution. ” The team’s improved run defense will help some. The team must find a solution to the elephant in the room, a horrible pass rush.
It is safe to say much like Bob Quinn went out of his way to improve the tight end position after last season, Quinn will look to revamp the Detroit Lions defensive line this coming off season.