Detroit Lions basically lapped the field in rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks last year

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

As the Detroit Lions struggled to stop the run last year, opposing quarterbacks especially had their way on the ground against them.

If only there had been a sign. Oh, the first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons was. Falcons signal callers Marcus Mariota and Desmond Riddder combined for 82 rushing yards in that game, and there were mistakes that led to easy throws on bootlegs.

The Lions 2022 regular season schedule was filled with good running quarterbacks--Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields (twice), Josh Allen, Daniel Jones and Dak Prescott. But Geno Smith, Sam Darnold and Aaron Rodgers also set rushing marks that were either the best of their careers or their best mark in a long time against the Lions last year.

Detroit Lions lapped the field in rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks last season

According to Pro Football Reference, the Lions allowed a league-high 700 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks during the 2022 season. And they allowed a nice, round 7.0 yards per attempt to quarterbacks. Those 100 attempts were the second-most quarterback rush attempts against in the league, behind only the Chicago Bears--102. Only the Bears allowed more rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks, with nine compared to the seven the Lions allowed.

Only one other team, the Miami Dolphins (525) allowed more than 500 rushing yards to quarterbacks last season. Four others, the Jacksonville Jaguars (469), Philadelphia Eagles (448), Kansas City Chiefs (444) and New Orleans Saints (409), allowed more than 400 rushing yards to opposing signal callers last year.

In the past at least, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has been vehemently against using a spy on opposing quarterbacks. The additions of linebacker Jack Campbell and safety Brian Branch in the draft should help the defense of mobile quarterbacks immediately. As Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire noted, Branch played a spy role at Alabama.

Frankly, the Lions can only get better defending quarterbacks on the ground this year. And from a certain perspective, they have to.

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