All things considered, it was another strong performance from the Lions’ defense on Sunday. However, it was also marred by penalties and a failure to stop the Browns on the crucial final drive.
It seemed like every time Detroit forced a third down stop, a flag was thrown. There was also a fourth down play the Browns failed to convert, but a flag kept the drive alive.
Even with the self-inflicted wounds, the Lions managed to hold their ground, allowing just 13 points. While they did get gashed in the run game a times, the pass defense held up–highlighted by two interceptions.
It was another week where this defense showed a lot of heart. Competing on every single play, and not being afraid to make mistakes. The aggressive nature of this unit has really helped the Lions stay in games, and that’s a credit to defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.
Best defensive player: CB Jerry Jacobs
Every time I watch Jacobs play, I become more and more impressed with him. People were surprised he even made the roster out of camp as an undrafted free agent. Now, he’s arguably been the Lions’ best corner since he was thrust into a starting role.
Jacobs embodies everything this defense has been this season. Tenacious, gritty, high-energy, and while imperfect, showing flashes of brilliance. Some of the pass breakups Jacobs forces have been really impressive, he has been playing really good coverage and attacks the ball at the catch point.
It’s not at all a stretch to say Jacobs is playing himself into the long-term plans of this secondary. He has been that good this year.
Worst defensive player: CB Amani Oruwariye
Just one of those days for Oruwariye. He was playing very aggressively, which is typically a good thing. Unfortunately, his aggressive play in this game landed him in penalty trouble.
Those flags would help extend Cleveland drives, which is something this team cannot afford.
Now it would be unfair of me to criticize Oruwariye without recognizing the good plays he made. He had a few nice coverage reps, and also grabbed his fourth interception of the season.
However, that pick doesn’t do enough to negate the flags he picked up in this game.