Have the Detroit Lions really upgraded their linebackers?

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(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions made an effort to upgrade their linebacker corps in free agency, but will they continue to be a liability with their inconsistency?

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn rolled up his sleeves in free agency and addressed the defense heavily. A trend that is expected to continue with a couple more additions in the upcoming draft.

In a way, the NFL has turned into an oxymoron. Almost every rule they have is to promote offensive football, but defense still wins championships. For fans who want to debate that San Francisco had a better defense than the Chiefs when they met this past February in the Super Bowl, they have to understand this; on Super Sunday the Kansas City defense was better and they ending up hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The one thing that can’t be debated is how truly putrid the Lions defense was this past season. Detroit held leads in every one of the eight games Matthew Stafford played in until his season-ending injury, yet they only had a 3-4-1 record.

The Lions even found ways to score enough points to take a second-half lead in four of their final eight games, but again, the defense was unable to close out any of their opponents to give Detroit the victory. Head coach Matt Patricia’s defense finished the season ranked 31st as opposing offenses moved the ball at will against them.

There is still certainly room for the Lions offense to improve, but until his injury, Matthew Stafford played like an MVP candidate and they were good enough to have won more games, especially with Matthew in the lineup.

So while there is work to be done on all facets of the roster, the defense is the glaring hole that has to be rectified in order to give this franchise a chance to win games next season. Anything shy of a major improvement in their ability to stop opponents will only lead to another frustrating year for the Lions and their fans.

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