5 biggest x-factors for the Detroit Lions vs. Rams in the Wild Card Round

Here are the five biggest x-factors for the Detroit Lions in Sunday night's Wild Card Round game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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3. Lions' secondary

The Lions' pass defense has been a real issue for most of the season. They finished the regular season 27th in passing yards allowed (247.4 yards per game), with the tied for most yards per completion (12.3) and the fifth-most total completed air yards allowed in the league. They were 29th in net passing yards allowed per attempt (6.7), and they were toward the bottom of the league in all yards per attempt metrics.

Cameron Sutton, the Lions' biggest cornerback investment in free agency last March, did not have his first interception of the season until Week 18. He was often not close to enough to the receiver he was covering to make any kind of play on the ball. At a certain point, any issues with defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's scheme/coverage decisions are not an excuse for receivers simply running free in the secondary.

One great wide receiver has regularly been a problem for the Lions' secondary this season. The Ram s offer two, with rookie Puka Nacua joining Cooper Kupp. Demarcus Robinson emerged late in the season as nice No. 3 receiver as well.

During his appearance on 97.1 The Ticket this week, head coach Dan Campbell professed confidence the Lions' secondary will step up against the Rams.

"I'm very confident. Here’s why I’m confident, because that’s what it’s going to take to win this game, and they’re going to do it," Campbell said Tuesday on 97.1 The Ticket. "We have our hands full. Those are two really good receivers. Kupp has a full resume here, the rookie has had a really good first year, and then they got a guy who can throw it."

Campbell's confidence here simply does not have good legs to stand on, but he's not going to say anything else. The Lions' secondary could be higher on this list