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Notes: Detroit Lions dead last in PFF’s secondary rankings

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Detroit Lions v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

It appears the Detroit Lions secondary did not do so well this season. How’s that for some breaking news?

Pro Football Focus’ Anthony Treash ranked each team’s secondary based on the unit PFF grade for each team’s defensive backs during the 2020 season. It does not look so hot for the boys in Honolulu blue.

Coming in at dead last, the Lions ranked 32nd among the league’s secondaries, Treash noting that Detroit didn’t just have the worst performance of the season, but one of the worst seen in the PFF era dating back to 2006.

“This group surrendered 0.36 expected points added per pass play, the worst any defense has allowed in a season since 2006 by a considerable margin (0.30 was next worst),” he wrote.

Treash cited rookie cornerback Jeffrey Okudah’s struggles this season, though noted that Year 1 is certainly too soon to write a player off at this position.

I happened upon a piece from PFF’s Sam Monson from July 28 that ranked all secondary units *entering* the 2020 season. With the departure of Darius Slay, Monson emphasized the need for Okudah, third overall 2020 draft pick, to impress right out of the gate.

“He is a perfect match for Detroit’s man-heavy coverages, but expecting a rookie to be better than Slay was, even in a down year, is asking a lot,” he wrote.

Of course Okudah, also limited to nine games due to injury, is just one player. Veteran corner Desmond Trufant was unable to shake health issues himself, only appearing in six games this season. Safety Duron Harmon led the unit with two picks. Justin Coleman failed to record any in 11 games. Will Harris, announced a starter over Tracy Walker who has shown inconsistencies, struggled on the field and his snaps dwindled as the season wore on. Then veteran Jayron Kearse was first suspended three games, returned and looked pretty decent, then was eventually cut for violation of team rules. And so on and so forth. Just so many issues all over the place.

Here’s hoping for improvement after the leadership changes. It can only go up from here. Uh, literally. Read the rest of Treash’s article here.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • Amid a rough season for the team overall, T.J. Hockenson had a sneaky good year.