The difference between winning it all and watching the Super Bowl from home is not a big step from one contender to another. But one of the things that all true contenders have is the ability to get defensive stops when they need them the most.
Much like all other sports, the emphasis in the NFL is on offense. That’s what sells tickets.
So many of the rule changes which have been touted as being for safety are actually about giving the offense every advantage possible. That makes playing defense in the NFL very difficult.
Yet teams that find a way to play great defense always give themselves a chance to win by keeping the score close, even if their offense is having a tough day.
The eventual ability of the Lions to play good run defense hand-in-hand with what has been pretty good pass defense will be this teams turning point.
Detroit Lions Holiday One Piece Pajamas - 3XL
Most NFL games come down to a handful of plays. Did the defense hold? Was the offense able to score? Production on both sides of the ball is imperative, but for any team to be contenders they have to find ways to get some key stops each week.
The Lions had some of those against the Patriots and Packers. They didn’t have too many against the Jets, 49ers, and Cowboys. What were the results?
Da’Shawn Hand is a keeper. He looks more and more like a steal each week. Devon Kennard was a very good signing. Eli Harold and Romeo Okwara have been good acquisitions. Glover Quinn, Quandre Diggs, and Darius Slay are the cornerstones of what has been a pretty good secondary.
Jarrad Davis has as much ability and intensity as any player in the league, but he still needs more development before we can completely feel at ease.
The rest are the question marks that need to be answered.