Under Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions were one of the least aggressive teams when it came to generating pressure. Per Pro-Football-Reference, the Lions defense ranked 25th, 30th, and 31st in blitz percentages in 2020, 2019, and 2018 under Patricia.
Welcome to a new era of Detroit Lions football.
The Lions dialed up a lot of pressure against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. According to PFF’s data, the Lions blitzed on a higher percentage of passing plays than any other team in Week 1. Per PFF, the Lions blitzed on 15 of 28 49ers' dropbacks, making them just one of three NFL teams who blitzed more than half of the time. For what it’s worth, Pro-Football-Reference had the Lions at exactly 50 percent blitz rate, which ranked them third in the NFL.
This shouldn’t be a complete surprise. The Lions were aggressive in the preseason, and the New Orleans Saints—where defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is likely drawing inspiration from—have commonly always been ranked in the top half of the league in blitz percentage.
While the Lions only managed to sack Garoppolo once—from a blitzing Tracy Walker—they did produce three quarterback hits and 10 total pressures, per PFF.
Five highest team blitz% per pass plays faced @PFF— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 15, 2021
1. DET: 53.6% (15/28)
2. MIA: 52.3% (23/44)
3. TB: 51.7% (35/69)
4. NYG: 41.5% (17/41)
5. MIN: 39.4% (13/33)
1. LVR: 5% (2/40)
2. PHI: 6.8% (3/44)
3. HOU: 8.9% (5/56)
4. PIT: 12/9% (8/62)
5. SF: 13% (9/69)
- The Lions announced today that Calvin Johnson will receive his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring at halftime of the Lions’ Week 3 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Lions great Alex Karras—who was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, as well—will also be honored prior to the game.
- Speaking of Johnson, he spoke more about his relationship with the Lions, and why he turned down their “joke” of an offer:
- If you missed it from yesterday, former Lions running back Kerryon Johnson has signed with the 49ers practice squad after the team lost Raheem Mostert for the season.
- Both Dan Campbell and Michael Brockers were mic’d up for the Lions’ season opener. Here’s the result:
- Sorry, I have to... Matthew Stafford won the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for just the second time in his career.
- Great article here how two-deep looks from the Saints confounded Aaron Rodgers last week. I wonder if the Lions have anyone on staff that could bring those New Orleans influences to their game plan this week.