2015 Detroit Lions: A Cynic’s View
By Kent Platte
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
If you made it past the headline and skipped straight to the comments, I don’t blame you. The Detroit Lions have shown a lot of promise coming into 2015, so much so that there are people actually predicting Super Bowl wins for them. It’s a crazy time to be a Detroit Lions fan, but that doesn’t mean everyone is happy. Yesterday at lunch, I overheard a conversation with two fans. For one, the team could do no wrong. Not knowing their names, I called him “Joey Blue Skies” after the notoriously cheery Joey Harrington. The other fan? It’s fire and brimstone time. He actually predicted another 0-16. Dubbed “Hater Steve“, I’m going to explore some of his reasons your Detroit Lions could lose every game in 2015.
The Detroit Lions Lost Their Best Player
In case you somehow missed the news, Ndamukong Suh is no longer on the Detroit Lions roster. It’s funny to see fans’ reactions to just how good Suh was now that he is gone, but it’s generally accepted that he was the best player on the Detroit Lions defense in 2014 and is considered one of the best defensive players at any position in the NFL. It’s a huge blow to lose such a good player, but it’s devastating to the Lions.
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Their defense was built around that stout front. Without Suh to anchor the line, the run game opens up. If the run game opens up, the play action passing game opens up. That exposes the back-end to all sorts of looks they just weren’t getting with Suh wreaking havoc on the line. No matter who was playing alongside him, Suh brought the pressure and you just let him do all the dirty work. Nobody would knowDeAndre Levy
‘s name if it weren’t for Suh, and without Suh to take up blockers teams are just going to swing protection to coverEzekiel Ansah
, the only real threat on that defensive line.
The Detroit Lions defense only played at such a high level because of what Suh did to open up lanes for other rushers, provide early pressure, and completely erase any ability to run up the middle. With Suh gone, the team has to rely on Haloti Ngata? The guy was a nose tackle in a 3-4 in Baltimore, and lost that job the season before he left. What good is he going to be on a 4-3 line that will, on occasion, be expected to get to the QB(Shocker)?
No Suh means no dominant defense for the Detroit Lions. No dominant defense means they’re back in the trash heap of the NFCN. You had better get used to seeing running backs tearing up the middle of the Lions line once again. It’s going to start with rookie Melvin Gordon, who they’ll make look like a superstar, but it’s going to be really bad when they face divisional rivals Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, and Matt Forte.
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