Aidan Hutchinson has a simple-sounding solution to Lions' pass rush issues

Aidan Hutchinson has not been the problem, but he has a very simple-sounding solution to the Detroit Lions' pass rush woes.
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Through two games, the Detroit Lions have just one sack. And even that one was one Seahawks' quarterback Geno Smith probably could have (and should have) avoided, as linebacker Alex Anzalone chased him down for a 17-yard loss.

A shift in defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's previous fairly blitz-heavy ways hasn't helped, but the Lions are also 30th in the league in ESPN's Pass Rush Win Rate.

Aidan Hutchinson has not been a problem. His 13 quarterback pressures (according to Pro Football Focus) tied for the league lead entering Week 3, and Charles Harris (seven) is the only other Lion with more than three. But he has zero sacks (obviously), and only three quarterback hits. It's a matter of closing in on the quarterback more effectively, though Hutchinson has had a heavy dose of double-teams and some uncalled penalties to hinder him.

Overall, as has been a persistent issue, the Lions have lacked discipline in pass rushing lanes and mobile quarterbacks have found room to move or run. Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder could pose a real problem in that respect on Sunday.

Aidan Hutchinson offers seemingly simple answer to Lions' pass rushing issues

Speaking to reporters on Friday, via Ben Raven of MLive, Hutchinson offered a very simple-sounding way to fix the Lions' pass rushing problems.

"Just playing more together,” Hutchinson said. “That’s the biggest thing from the edges and the interior......I feel like when you’re out there sometimes, sometimes it just doesn’t work. You know? Sometimes, there is no communication. And there’s a wide-open b-gap for the quarterback to go right through, so I think communication was a really big thing this week. And that’s what we’ve been working on.”

Fixing communication issues seems to be a big focus for the Lions' defense this week, with Kerby Joseph citing the same thing for the secondary after last week's game.

Sheerly putting pressure on the quarterback hasn't been an issue, even if Hutchinson has accounted for a big chunk. PFF credited the Lions with 34 quarterback pressures (fifth-most in the league) through Week 2. It's truly a matter of better discipline and finishing, as well as (in Hutchinson's mind) the defensive front working together way better than it has.

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