Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
It seems like every week the Detroit Lions defense would dominate an entire football game only to have the news from the game be about how the offense they faced was not very good. That story remained last week when the Detroit Lions defense shut down Aaron Rodgers and co., and persisted coming into the Jets in week 4. Well, that story should shift soon enough to how this defense is actually pretty good. After a rough first drive where the Lions allowed Chris Ivory to rush with ease, they completely shut down Geno Smith and the Jets, who weren’t able to move the ball again until the Lions gave them the ball back with less than a minute left in the half.
Slay and Mathis
Darius Slay is putting on a pro bowl season at cornerback and the only thing keeping him from it are interceptions. He continued his elite showing this week against the Jets by shutting down Jeremy Kerley completely. Rashean Mathis has been no slouch, as Eric Decker has only caught two and both were in off coverage on short routes. Geno Smith has never been comfortable in the pocket and just cannot read this defense. He has completed only 4 of his 11 passes for 32 yards and it sure does seem like less than that.
Suh and Fairley
Fairley is continuing his awesome season so far against a strong interior OL that features one of the best centers in the NFL. Suh has also been feasting as both have been able to make Geno feel uncomfortable and attempt ill advised passes. There hasn’t been much in terms of sacks or turnovers, but shutting down the Jets offense begins up front.
Eric Ebron needed to show up in a big way with Calvin Johnson limited by injury and the 10th overall pick has been doing just that. The rookie has almost as many catches (3) as the Jets do as a team (4) and managed his first NFL TD on a beautiful move inside that Stafford was able to exploit. Calvin Johnson has been severely limited this game (Though he kept his consecutive catch streak alive), and Ebron has been able to make things happen just as the Lions needed.
Golden is Golden
Golden Tate has proven just why the Detroit Lions needed a true number two receiver so badly. He has stepped in seamlessly with Calvin Johnson limited and gained a ton of yards after the catch. He is presently on pace for more than 1,000 yards on the season and is giving defensive coordinators fits normally reserved just for Megatron.
The Lions are winning by 14 points at the half, with both touchdowns coming through the air. Aside from Ebron’s catch, Stafford scored on a huge downfield pass to Jeremy Ross. The pass was slightly underthrown, but Ross beat his coverage so soundly that he was able to adjust and still get the ball and the end zone after hip tossing a defender.
Lions 17, Jets 3 at the half.