The Detroit Lions’ second preseason game kicks off Saturday night as they host the New York Jets for an exhibition game. The Jets are kind of a mess right now, so it’ll be an opponent that’s hard to seriously gauge a talent level against.
So as fans and evaluators, it may make more sense to focus on individual performances within position groups. The Lions should look like a much better team than the Jets on Saturday, and if they do, that won’t really tell us much about the team. However, if we focus our attention on certain aspects of the Lions team, we may get more out of the game. So today’s Question of the Day is:
What position group will you be watching closely against the Jets?
My answer: It has to be the defensive line. While I believe it’s almost certain that the Lions will have a defensive lineman not currently on the team make the final 53-man roster, Detroit really needs to find out what they’ve got with their current set of players, especially at defensive end.
Currently, the Lions have seven healthy defensive ends. Three are rookies, two of which went undrafted. Two are second-year players, both of which were taken in the sixth round or later. Of the final two, one will be suspended to start the year (Armonty Bryant) and the other is new to the team and has barely even practiced (Cornelius Washington).
It’s a dreary situation at defensive end that will obviously improve drastically when (if?) Ezekiel Ansah returns from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but for now, we simply need to see what the Lions have.
Since that’s an obvious answer, I’m also still very curious about Detroit’s crowded situation at cornerback, and would love to see some of those guys make big plays against the Jets. The Lions failed to force a turnover against a bad set of Colts quarterbacks last week. Let’s see if they can remedy that this week.