FanPost

Lions Secondary in the new NFL

This entire offseason I have heard everyone from ESPN talking heads, to Lions beat writers, to PoD commenters talk about how terrible our secondary was last year, and that if we didn't improve it, we would have difficulty improving this season. I know season long stats don't always tell the full story, but I wanted to take a look and compare us to some of the most successful teams in the league. Specifically, the Saints, Giants, Packers, and Patriots.

The reason I think this is relevant is because I think the NFL is changing. Having what might traditionally have been considered a good defense, and in particular a good pass defense, just is not required to be successful in the league anymore. The four teams I'm comparing us with combined to go 50-14 in the regular season (with the Giants accounting for half of those loses) and then 7-3 in the playoffs. Some defensive numbers with league rank in parenthesis:

Pass yards/game;
Lions - 239.4 (22nd)
Giants - 255.1 (29th)
Saints - 259.8 (30th)
Patriots - 293.9 (31st)
Packers - 299.8 (32nd) Most in the history of the league

Passing TDs;
Saints - 24 (T-16th)
Lions - 26 (T-22nd)
Patriots - 26 (T-22nd)
Giants - 28 (T-25th)
Packers - 29 (T-27th)

Passing First Downs Allowed;
Lions - 195 (22nd)
Saints - 196 (T-23rd)
Giants - 210 (29th)
Patriots - 245 (31st)
Packers - 246 (32nd)

20+ Yard Completions Allowed;
Lions - 46 (T-8th)
Saints - 49 (T-14th)
Giants - 60 (29th)
Packers - 71 (31st)
Patriots - 79 (32nd)

Ints;
Packers - 31 (1st)
Patriots - 23 (T-2nd)
Lions - 21 (5th)
Giants - 20 (T-6th)
Saints - 9 (T-28th)

Sacks;
Giants - 48 (T-3rd)
Lions - 41 (T-10th)
Patriots - 40 (14th)
Saints - 33 (T-19th)
Packers - 29 (T-27th)

While I realize this isn't the full story, I think this clearly shows that the Lions had a pass defense that compared favorably to the pass defenses of some of the most successful teams in the league.

Why do I think this is relevant, and why did I just spend all that time typing? Because I think this shows that dominant pass offense is clearly more important in today's NFL than even mediocre pass defense. I think the Lions FO has shown they believe this to be true as well by focusing so heavily on developing our passing offense through free agency and the draft, and often neglecting other areas of the team as a consequence, especially the pass defense.

In summation, Ryan Broyles has a hell of a good pick in the second round, and I'm glad we didn't reach for a corner in the first.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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