Numbers show how good Lions pass defense has been lately

The Detroit Lions’ defense has given the team a chance to win lately, led by a pass defense that has been very good.

The Detroit Lions are of course still winless this season, but their last three games have been decided by a total of five points. A tie to the Pittsburgh Steelers and losses to the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears were all winnable games, if the offense could have held up any end of the bargain. The other side of the ball has not been a problem, and it has been a strength lately.

The Lions defense has generally played at a competitive level all season. But over the last three games they’ve allowed just 15 points and 239 passing yards per game. The pass rush has still been lacking, but Detroit has more interceptions (four) than passing touchdowns allowed over the last three weeks.

The Lions pass defense has been very good lately

With the important caveat of facing Mason Rudolph (and not Ben Roethlisberger, even in the diminished state he’s in), a banged up/ineffective Baker Mayfield and Andy Dalton, the Lions have allowed a 71.1 aggregate passer rating over the last three weeks (eighth-best in the league over the stretch, h/t to Lions Wire).

Amani Oruwariye has five of the Lions’ eight interceptions this season, while fellow young corners Jerry Jacobs and AJ Parker have had some good moments. Free safety Tracy Walker is having a terrific season as the gel of a young secondary, and linebackers Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes and Jalen Reeves-Maybin have been solid in coverage at times. Rookie cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu is back on the active roster this week, and he’s lined up to help the Lions’ pass defense down the stretch this season.

The Lions are still 26th in the league in passer rating allowed this season (98.2). But the defense’s positive trend since the bye week has been led by a pass defense that has stepped up its level of play.