A quarter of the season is gone, and the bandwagon for the Detroit Lions is growing. What went right in Sunday’s 14-7 win over Minnesota?
The Detroit Lions moved to 3-1 on Sunday. Not just any old 3-1 either; this is a team that’s picking up more and more respect around the league each week.
Here is what I noticed this time:
Is the defense for real?
1. Detroit’s defense has been lucky. 11 turnovers in four games? The Lion D can’t possibly keep up that kind of pace, especially considering that so many of them have been ‘unforced’. The Jerick McKinnon fumble was the result of a bad play call and even worse execution. The Dalvin Cook fumble was the result of a non-contact ACL injury.
Other unforced turnovers from earlier games include some truly awful Carson Palmer passes in Week 1, and some fortunate drops that became picks against Atlanta. The Lions can’t expect all the bounces to go their way the entire year, however…
2. Detroit’s defense is pretty good. Even when Minnesota moved inside the five late in the fourth quarter, I wasn’t all that worried. The Lions defense had stood tall all day up to that point. When Anthony Zettel came up with the huge sack on third down, my reaction was muted. More of a, “well yeah, of course he did.”
I’m becoming confident that the D will find a big play when they need one, and can tell that the whole team is too. I’m not ready to compare them to the 2014 defense (Ndamukong Suh‘s last year in Detroit), but they’re solid.
3. Glover Quin defines “having a nose for the ball”. In Observation #1, I mentioned that many of the Lions turnovers this year have been ‘unforced’. This does not apply to Glover Quin. That guy knows how to force turnovers.
4. This week’s breakout star: Anthony Zettel. Week 1 was Kenny Golladay. Then Jarrad Davis and Jamal Agnew against the Giants. Now Anthony Zettel gets in the mix, with two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Zettel arguably made the two plays that changed the outcome of the game the most, and has become 2017’s Kerry Hyder on the defensive line.