The Detroit Lions passing defense let the team down last year. Darius Slay slightly regressed after an outstanding 2017 season, and between Nevin Lawson, Teez Tabor and a group of bottom-roster players, the team failed to put a starting level corner across from him. While the rush defense was great towards the end of last year, it was all for naught due to the teams failures in the defensive backfield.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell laid out realistic goals for the 10 teams who are least likely to make the playoffs this season according to their Football Power Index. Detroit comes in ninth, with a 16.9% to make the postseason.
Barnwell says that a realistic goal for the upcoming season would be getting their passing defense DVOA to a league average 16th in the NFL, saying that:
The Lions dropped from 19th to 27th in defensive DVOA, including a 31st-ranked finish in pass defense DVOA. They were the league’s worst pass defense against No. 1 wideouts, sixth-worst against No. 2 wideouts, worst against third wideouts and seventh-worst against tight ends. There’s room for improvement.
Detroit had the second-worst passing defense in the league in 2018, it seems impossible to not improve in 2019. If they meet Barnwell’s goal of coming in 16th, they may be a playoff threat in the upcoming season.
- Bleacher Report’s Chris Rolling listed a few rookies that he believes are having disappointing preseasons up to this point. Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson makes the list—Rolling cites his lack of production up to this point—but that seems harsh as the rookie’s lack of playing time up to this point could also be read as the Lions coaching staff trusting the rookie and knowing he does not need extended playing time in preseason.
- In the wake of the team signing defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. to an extension Wednesday, the Lions official PR account highlighted how great “Snacks” 2018 campaign truly was on Thursday.
In 2018, @snacks became the 1st DL since 1930 to play in 17 games in a season & only the 8th player to do so since 1931.— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) August 22, 2019
Last year, he was 1-of-4 players to log at least 80 tkls, 9 TFLs, 3.0 sacks & 2 FFs, becoming the 1st DT to ever do so since TFLs began being tracked in 1994. pic.twitter.com/wtxfVjhAYT
- Speaking of Snacks, some details about his new extension are trickling in:
The #Lions gave Damon Harrison an extra $2.25m this year, with $500k of that coming in per-game roster bonuses. In exchange the team added a year on the deal ($9m in non-guaranteed money in 2021). https://t.co/EtcquXWSat— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 22, 2019
- MLive’s Kyle Meinke investigated whether or not quarterback Matthew Stafford should, and will, play in the 2019 preseason on Thursday.
- The Detroit Lions were paid a visit by the Make a Wish foundation on Thursday, as highlighted by their official Twitter account.