Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker has yet to pull in an interception this year, but he isn’t sweating it. He knows he’s playing well, and to try and push to get an interception could be counterproductive. He just wants to go about doing his job.
Plus, he believes quarterbacks are actively trying to avoid throwing at him.
“Obviously quarterbacks ain’t trying to throw it my way or throw it in the vicinity for me to catch an interception, so it’s kinda difficult,” Walker said on Wednesday.
That isn’t the case for starting cornerback Amani Oruwariye. The third-year cornerback has been one of the few permanent fixtures in Detroit’s secondary, and quarterbacks haven’t been afraid to throw his way... but they have paid for it. Oruwariye has five interceptions this year, good for third in the NFL.
Admittedly, a handful of these interceptions have been a bit fortuitous. A few have come on balls tipped by other players—including Walker himself.
“Amani, we call him Lucky Charms around here,” Walker said. “Plays come to him. It’s falling right in his lap.”
That being said, Oruwariye is making plenty of plays on his own. Last week against the Chicago Bears, he stepped in front of an Andy Dalton pass for an impressive pick in the end zone, and he nearly had another one, but it was knocked away by Bears tight end Jesse James.
Put his season all together, and bad things happen when quarterbacks are targeting Oruwariye:
Lowest Passer Rating allowed since start of last season— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) December 1, 2021
J.C. Jackson 30.9
Xavien Howard 47.7
Trevon Diggs 51.7
Amani Oruwariye 53.5
Tre'Davious White 54.6
*min 100 attempts against, as primary defender pic.twitter.com/vuWFjXg9f6
While passer rating isn’t a perfect statistic—and it’s highly influenced by interceptions—this is still a very impressive accomplishment for Oruwariye.
- Lions head coach Dan Campbell talked about some of his regrets as play caller over the past three games, including a run play on Detroit’s first third-and-32 on Thanksgiving.
- Zach Line is a former NFL fullback who played under Campbell and alongside Alex Anzalone with the Saints. Now he’s coaching football at Oxford High School here in Michigan, where they just endured the latest school shooting tragedy. He set up a GoFundMe to support the families of the victims:
Life is precious. If you would like to support our Oxford families in their darkest of times, please consider donating. All proceeds go directly to the families of the victims. https://t.co/V4BXX3bJkY— Zach Line (@ZLINE48) December 1, 2021
- Justin Rogers of the Detroit News talked about Year 2 expectations and threw his hat into the Hutchinson vs. Thibodeaux debate in his latest mailbag.
- If you aren’t charity’d out from our marathon on Tuesday, the annual Killer’s Christmas in memory of former Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski is on Thursday night:
Raising Money for some incredible local charities tomorrow night, Be there! pic.twitter.com/6bdjqSvkxg— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) December 2, 2021
- ESPN ranked coaches by fourth down calls—both in terms of the frequency they are going for it in the “right” situations and their conversion rates over expected—and Campbell landed just below average.