Detroit Lions need strong impact from Ziggy Ansah in 2018
As things change on the defensive side of the ball for the Detroit Lions, the team needs to see a strong impact from defensive end Ziggy Ansah in 2018.
The Detroit Lions are sure to have a different look to their defense in 2018. A new head coach takes over with a history as a defensive coordinator who is known to mix things up to confuse offenses and take away their strength. But what does that mean for a star on the defensive line?
Defensive end Ziggy Ansah has been consistent when healthy. When playing full seasons in 2014, 2015 and 2017, he racked up exactly 39 tackles each year. His sack numbers started strong his rookie season in 2013 with 8.0 total. He remained consistent into 2014 with 7.5 sacks. Then he blew the doors off in 2015 with 14.5 sacks.
It would appear defenses took note of that stat as Ansah’s sack totals start to look like a roller coaster after that year with 2.0 sacks in 2016 and then climbing to 12.0 sacks last season. This season, if that stat continues a roller coaster, Lions fans shouldn’t be concerned. Ansah will still be making an impact for this team.
The Lions current roster boasts some talented players and others with the potential to shine. Defensive ends Kerry Hyder Jr. and Anthony Zettel have both shown they can play at this level. Defensive tackles A’Shawn Robinson and Sylvester Williams will be eating people up in the middle. Da’Shawn Hand can play inside and out, flexing his talent along the line. Not to mention the talented, young middle linebacker Jarrad Davis along with a few other newcomers to the linebacking corp.
There are plenty of points of attack on this defense. Head coach Matt Patricia knows it. Don’t be surprised if this year’s sack stat for Ansah looks similar to 2016 with a heaping pile of tackles to go with it. Opposing teams will most likely single him out as the guy they need to double team.
If teams are so worried about taking Ansah out of the play, they aren’t focusing on the other talented playmakers on this defense. And if teams send an extra blocker to Ansah, these other playmakers will be feeling that impact and feasting on one-on-one matchups all game long.
If teams don’t worry about Ansah as much and only send a single blocker his way, he’s proved he can capitalize on it. Either way, he’s making a positive impact for the Lions defense. And he needs to keep making this impact consistently to either make the plays himself or set up his teammates.
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There’s also a third scenario at play. The new multi-front defense of coach Patricia could throw everything out of context for measuring Ansah’s impact relative to his stats. But with the franchise tag dropped on him this year, he needs to be showing up in the stat sheet and making an impact for the Detroit Lions no matter what.