Another thing to consider is really how poorly the defensive front seven played after Haloti Ngata went down to injury last season. They couldn’t stop the run or pressure opposing quarterbacks as previously outlined.
With that being the case, why is anyone upset about the majority of that unit being cast adrift?
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They didn’t do the job last year and quite frankly they were awful up front in the preseason. No one wants to enter the season with this kind of turmoil, but does anyone believe that personnel group which had obviously failed, was going to suddenly hit the bright lights of Monday Night Football doing a complete 360 turnaround?
It may cost the Lions a chance to contend in the NFC North with this kind of last minute roster turnover, but how exactly were they going to contend with what they already had?
The Minnesota Vikings are clearly the cream of the divisional crop and having Aaron Rodgers back in the fold alone makes the Green Bay Packers contenders. Even the addition of Khalil Mack to an already good Chicago Bears defense makes them much more dangerous.
So where do the Lions fit in? They may be the most complete offensive team in the division. Sure the Vikings are good, but I would take Matthew Stafford over Kirk Cousins. Aaron Rodgers is easily the best at his position in the NFC North, but there are still some question marks at receiver and running back. Then there are the Bears. They have a good ground game, but Mitchell Trubisky is still young and their receivers are better than last year, but not elite.
Where the Lions are in trouble is on defense. They can’t compare to the Vikings and Bears, and while the Packers are not even close to dominant on defense, they are still better than the defensive debacle we have witnessed from the Lions this preseason.