Detroit Lions Stock Report: Week 4

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Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Four weeks into the season and the Detroit Lions are the only team who has yet to record their first win.  It isn’t an admirable position to be in, and with as much positivity and excitement the fan base had when the season started they have mostly fallen into despair.  Still, despite the long odds, the season isn’t over and there is still plenty to talk about.  The Detroit Lions played the Seattle Seahawks down to the wire in their own stadium and if it weren’t for an untimely and egregious missed call, they probably would have walked away with a win.  So who’s up?  Who’s down?  That’s what we’re here for, so let’s dive in.

Stock Up: Ezekiel Ansah

The third year pro is really beginning to come into his own this season. While most wondered if he’d be able to continue his improvement without Ndamukong Suh taking up the heat in the middle, Ansah has so far responded by showing that he can be a dominant force in his own right.  He’s suffered numerous injuries early in the season, but has played through them all and is sitting comfortably at 4 sacks so far.

Ansah has been an elite run defender since his rookie season, and while his team leading sack number is impressive, it is only a subtle improvement in his actual technique and play as a pass rusher.  There is still plenty of room for him to improve as a rusher, which continues to terrify me as I realize that as good as he is right now, he can clearly be better.

The rest of the defensive line is either battered, broken, or playing well below expectations, so having someone like Ziggy Ansah tearing it up every game is refreshing to see.  The pressure off his side and ability to set the edge on every down gives Teryl Austin some of the breathing room he needs to scheme coverage and pressure to cover up deficiencies elsewhere.  Ansah continues to improve, and with a little bit of luck he might even make it into that top 5 edge defender discussion by year’s end.

Next: The Other Side of the Line Not So Much

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