The Detroit Lions top 3 defensive needs for 2020

Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Lions defense has been poor and needs talent to improve in 2020. Today, we’ll look at the top three things that might fix their big issues.

A stat getting thrown around a lot lately is that the Detroit Lions have had leads in pretty much every game this year but only managed three wins. A lot of blame has been placed on head coach Matt Patricia and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni but injuries have played a big part in the poor performances, too.

With those things being said, the Lions still have some personnel needs on the defensive side of the ball, so we’ll discuss that on this installment of Kick In The Crotch Weekly.

Last week we discussed the needs of the offense, where there are some depth concerns, some new starters needed along the line, and another option at running back to pair with Kerryon Johnson. This week we have to look at what to do about one of the worst defenses in the NFL statistically from 2019. It’s naive to say, “We just need to get healthy.”

Detroit Lions fans are getting impatient with the defensive rebuild, to say the least. Through two years the defense seems to be going backward, after a top-five finish to last season. In particular, the tackling has become a weakness after a very sound performance in 2018.

The Detroit Lions are thirtieth versus the pass at over 275 yards allowed per game and tied for twenty-seventh in touchdowns allowed through the air, at 22 for the season, stats from NFL’s website’s, team stats pages.  The rush defense isn’t much better, ranking twenty-fourth at over 120 yards-per-game.

We all know that head coach Matt Patricia was brought to Detroit for several reasons, one, he is a personal friend to Bob Quinn, the Vice President of football operations and General Manager. Two, Patricia has overseen the New England Patriots defense for several of their Super Bowl teams and was expected to demonstrate the same kind of “Take what the other team does well away from them” style of defense that Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick, is known for. On point number two, he has not accomplished much as teams seem to be able to do whatever they want against his defense.

The mitigating circumstances, the plethora of injuries, do need to be taken into account; no one would disagree on that point. Multiple starters along the defensive line, linebackers, and secondary have spent time on the sideline. The list includes core players like Darius Slay, Tracy Walker, Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, Da’Shawn Hand, and Jarrad Davis to name the biggest absences.