Dan Campbell still has false sense of confidence in Detroit Lions' lackluster pass rush

The Lions' pass rush struggled again on Thursday, but Dan Campbell remains steadfast and confident that things are just fine in that area.

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0. 2. 0. These are the Detroit Lions' sack totals over their last three games, as they have struggled with a consistent pass rush and when it goes away it basically completely evaporates. Of their 23 sacks this season, 18 have come in three games.

Overall, the deeper pass rush pressure metrics are not bad for the Lions. Their 9.7 percent hurry rate sits top-10 in the league, pending the rest of Week 12. Their pressure rate, via Pro Football Reference, is still top half in the league.

But defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has notably changed his mode, with the fifth-lowest blitz rate in the league so far this season (again, pending the rest of Week 12). In 2022, the Lions had the seventh-highest blitz rate in the league. In 2021, they had the 12th-highest blitz rate in the league. The upgrades to the secondary last offseason seem to have taken away Glenn's aggression, and the back end of the defense has not been up to the task.

Dan Campbell somehow remains confident in Lions' lackluster pass rush

The Lions did not make a notable addition to the pass rush at the trade deadline, when Chase Young was ultimately acquired by the San Francisco 49ers for the reasonable cost of a third-round pick. Bruce Irvin was signed to the practice squad the week after the trade deadline, and his debut has been delayed by playing two games in five-day span. The veteran Irvin is the only pass rush help that's coming, and how much he'll help is an open question right now.

After Thursday's game, via 97.1 The Ticket, head coach Dan Campbell gave the Lions' pass rush a vote of confidence-again.

"Same guys we've had here and we've been able to generate pressure, so this unit’s going to be just fine. These are our guys, man. And these guys can do it and they’ve done it. That same team we just faced, we went to Green Bay and we were able to create pressure. We weren’t able to do it today."

It's flimsy reasoning to note the first matchup against the Packers, where the Lions sacked Jordan Love five times and hit him a total of 11 times, as a "we're just fine" justification for the pass rush hardly touching Love on Thursday. But that's one of the only cards Campbell can play, shy of firing Glenn (which isn't necessarily warranted) or telling Glenn to change some things (maybe by noting the previously mentioned decline in blitz rate).

The "same guys we've had here" on the defensive line, outside of Aidan Hutchinson and Alim McNeill, have not gotten it done on any level when it comes to getting after the quarterback for most of the season. Irvin being able to play should only help, but again-how much?

But Campbell's confidence in what's going on with the Lions' pass rush right now is at minimum misplaced. He's just trying to be a cooler head, since panic mode solves nothing. But unless Irvin turns back the clock about four years, the lack of sufficient heat on opposing quarterbacks feels sure to continue being a big issue.

Next. Detroit Lions Week 12 Report Card: Lions fail to match Packers' intensity on Thanksgiving Day. Detroit Lions Week 12 Report Card: Lions fail to match Packers' intensity on Thanksgiving Day. dark