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Notes: Detroit Lions DE Trey Flowers impresses vs. All Pro Tyron Smith, Cowboys

Flowers really seems to be hitting his stride now.

Dallas Cowboys v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Continuing our theme this week of focusing on the positive while everything around us burns, today’s headlining note is about Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers.

Early in the season, Flowers was on the end of a fair amount of criticism for his subpar play. Given his hefty contract, expectations were high and it was clear he wasn’t matching them. However, he has been much better over the past month, and that high level of play continued through Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Several analysts took notice of his play, even though he left the game without a single tackle.

First, there was Justin Rogers of the Detroit news, who took notice of Flowers in his weekly film review. While Flowers was solid in rushing the passer—tallying three quarterback hits on the day—Rogers noted how reliable he was defending the run.

“Defensive end Trey Flowers was stellar from the start, getting the initial hit on a zone-read that resulted in (Ezekiel) Elliott fumbling the ball on the game’s opening possession,” Rogers wrote.

The Lions would end up holding Ezekiel Elliott to just 45 yards rushing, his second-lowest output of the season.

But as previously alluded to, Flowers was also excellent as a pass rusher on Sunday, going up against four-time All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith. Flowers and Smith both got their own, but Brandon Thorn of The Scouting Academy came out particularly impressed with Flowers:

You have to wonder at this point if Flowers was simply battling through injury early in the season, because he seems to be hitting his stride now. That bodes well for the future of the Lions, who have him signed through the 2023 season. Unfortunately for the short-term, Flowers remains in concussion protocol after suffering a brain injury against the Cowboys, as confirmed by head coach Matt Patricia on Monday.

  • All that being said, Flowers—and especially Devon Kennard—need to be more consistent with their pass rush win rates, which both rank among the league’s worst (y-axis is win rate, x-axis is double-team rate):

  • Speaking of players hitting their stride, Jarrad Davis has been the best run defending linebacker over the past two weeks, according to Pro Football Focus:

  • From one last-place team to another:

  • Darius Slay got some recognition from one of his peers in San Francisco:

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