Detroit Lions: Ranking the NFC North defenses for 2020

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Darius Slay, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Has the Detroit Lions’ defense improved enough to give Motown a fighting chance?

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn has worked hard to improve his roster this offseason. If anyone has paid attention, it would seem he has succeeded. At least to a degree.

Last season the Lions offense was still not overly productive on the ground and the defense didn’t register a pulse through 16 games. Despite an inconsistent rushing attack, Matthew Stafford played like an MVP, but because of a defense that simply could not have been any more porous, they had a losing record of 3-4-1 when Stafford’s season ended.

The NFL has done its best to give offenses every advantage possible and make playing defense a virtual crime. Yet despite that, the San Francisco 49ers with the hottest defense in the NFL made a run to the Super Bowl and met up with the Kansas City Chiefs who are certainly known for their offense but were playing their best defense of the season down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Even though the 49ers sizzling defense couldn’t hold onto the lead in the Super Bowl, it was a contributing factor to both San Francisco and Kansas City’s appearance in the ultimate championship game.

The old adage of ‘defense wins championships’ is being put to the test these days, but whether you subscribe to the theory or not, defense makes a difference between winning and losing. If your teams’ defense isn’t at least pretty good, then your offense better be putting up video game numbers.

So while the Lions seem to have tangibly improved their offense and have created some optimism among the fans, the defense still has to be much better before Detroit will be able to challenge for anything.

This isn’t to say that Bob Quinn hasn’t done a pretty good job of adding pieces this offseason, but because of the degree of how bad they were last season, it is very reasonable to question whether they have done enough.

Today we will take a look at the defenses in the Lions division and determine who has the best defense in the NFC North and who has more work to be done.

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