Among the defensive problems the Detroit Lions have had through two games, rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks has probably fallen down the list a little. But an easy residual of having just one sack thus far, and at times lacking discipline in rush lanes, is the opposing quarterback finding room to run.
In Week 1, Patrick Mahomes was the Chiefs' leading rusher with 45 yards on the ground. In Week 2, Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith had 20 rushing yards on three carries. Detroit has allowed the eighth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks through two games, after allowing the most rushing yards to quarterbacks (700) last year. Even skewed by two games against Justin Fields, that's a lot of production given up on the ground to quarterbacks last season.
The Lions' struggles against mobile quarterbacks last year was previewed by a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder combined for 82 rushing yards on nine attempts in that contest.
Falcons' quarterback Desmond Ridder set to be a running problem for the Lions in Week 3
The Lions will face the Falcons in Week 3. Rookie running back Bijan Robinson is the headliner of Atlanta's potent rushing attack (fourth-best in the league), with Tyler Allgeier contributing as the No. 2 back. But Ridder also has 38 yards and a touchdown on the ground so far this season, on 11 carries. Over his four collegiate seasons at Cincinnati, Ridder had 2,190 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns.
The Chiefs and Seahawks don't have offenses with designed runs for the quarterback. The Falcons don't do it a ton with Ridder, but he's a more than capable runner and Arthur Smith could sprinkle in some designed quarterback runs with some RPO elements this week.
The Lions have been strong stopping opposing running backs so far this year, while opposing quarterbacks have done things with their opportunities to run. Ridder is on a different level than Mahomes or Smith in terms of running ability as a crucial element of his game. Wile he's not a great overall quarterback, the Falcons' signal caller will really hurt the Lions with his legs on Sunday if they don't tighten some things up.