Detroit Lions Film Review: Ezekiel Ansah’s Breakout Performance


Ezekiel Ansah, Destroyer of Worlds

Ezekiel Ansah had a rough start this year. He missed all of spring workouts due to a nagging shoulder injury that has been a problem for him even before the Lions drafted him.  It wasn’t until the third preseason game before he finally found some action on the field, and leading up to last week’s victory Ansah was nonexistent as a pass rusher.

Last Sunday was a whole different story. On just 34 snaps, Ansah was credited with nine total pressures via Pro Football Focus. This means that Ziggy pressured the QB once every four snaps that he was on the field. That’s JJ Watt territory right there.

Ansah often found himself lined up across Vikings’ left tackle Matt Kalil last Sunday, and let me just say that Mr. Kalil is probably still having nightmares of Ziggy after last week’s debacle.

In the play above, Ziggy explodes off of the snap and does a phenomenal job of using his hands to free himself from Kalil’s grasp. Ziggy’s speed is too much for Kalil and he’s able to work his way towards the blind spot of Bridgewater and tomahawk the ball out of his hand.

Ziggy Ansah had his best game yet as a pass rusher, but he also continued to show his dominance making plays on the ball carrier.

On second-and-eight, the Vikings try use the Lions’ aggressiveness against themselves and attempt a screen pass to the right. Teddy tries to fake a screen to the left and actually gets Levy and Quin to bite on it.

Ansah is lined up as the left defensive end on this play and actually fakes a pass rush and drops back into coverage. It’s hard to tell whether this is the assignment that was provided for Ziggy, or if he sniffed the screen out himself. Either way, he’s able to easily shed himself from the lead blocker and tackles the ball carrier for a two-yard loss, setting up 3rd-and-long.

On the very next play, Ansah returns to his matchup versus Matt Kalil lined up in a two-point stance.

Teryl Austin is a genius when it comes to confusing quarterbacks. Often when you see a linebacker leaning towards blitzing the a-gap, while the other linebacker is leaning towards staying back in coverage, the exact opposite happens. In this play, Levy blitzes the left-side a-gap.

Ziggy uses his speed once again to beat Kalil on the outside and also swipes down at his hands to disrupt the timing of his block. Levy and Ziggy end up sharing the sack on third down and force the Vikings to punt.

Could this be a fluke performance, or is Ziggy Ansah finally becoming the player the Lions drafted him to be?

Larry Warford’s Bizarre Game

Warford had a pretty mediocre performance against the Vikings last week, but there are some bizarre plays he was involved in that I’d like to share.

The first play, the Lions are facing second-and-long in their own territory, and Warford seems to completely miss the snap count. He isn’t able to get out of his stance immediately after the ball is snapped. This results in a defender running right by him and forcing Stafford to get rid of the ball quickly for an incompletion.

And that’s not even the strangest play Warford was involved in. Check out this play where LaAdrian Waddle and Larry Warford swap positions and Warford runs a seam route up the middle of the field.

What are you doing Stafford?!?! Your right tackle was wide open!!!

Now I’ve seen everything.