The Detroit Lions' defense is off to a nice start, to say the least. They have the league's top run defense, with 12 sacks over the last two games.
In between the lines, Detroit's young core is growing together. The team has a high comfort with each other, and the dividends of that are starting to show.
Defensive tackle Alim McNeill is a big believer in how chemistry has shaped the Lions. As he told the media, he believes it's a top factor in their solid start.
"I think that's one of our biggest factors. Guys we've been around. We've been through war with them, training camp, stuff like that. The chemistry right now I'd say is very strong. We're all on the same page. We're all brothers in here. It's like family here, so I'd say our chemistry is huge for us on the field just as far as communication and small things that we'll see. We're picking a guy up. Maybe something happened and he's kind of dwelling on that. (We have a) next-play type mentality, so our chemistry is a huge factor for us on the field. It's really strong right now."
Detroit's bedrock draft classes in 2021 and 2022 are leading the charge for Aaron Glenn's unit. As they continue to grow together, there's no reason to think they won't keep improving.
Alim McNeill: Stopping the run the key to Detroit Lions' success defensively
How are the Lions finding defensive success on the field? The key seems to be stopping the run.
Early this season, Detroit has been stingy against opposing runners. Through Week 4, the Lions have the NFL's top run defense, allowing 60.8 yards per-game.
The Lions have held opposing running backs to less that 3.0 yards per carry.
McNeill knows that stopping the run and making the opposition one-dimensional has helped the Lions. As he said, it makes an offense very uncomfortable.
"That's a huge factor in the winning, making a team as one-dimensional as you can. By stopping the run, that makes them one-dimentional. They have to drop back and pass and it allows us to rush and get to the quarterback. That's a huge part of the game."
Everything is clicking for the Lions in terms of chemistry and their ability to get after it up front defensively.