Earlier in the week, Hamza Baccouche posed a question to our readers asking how many yards Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields might roll up against the NVP Detroit Lions defense. Hamza thought Fields could put up big numbers against Detroit on the ground, and the bearer of magnificent mustaches found a great video showing why:
A good (and terrifying) breakdown here. https://t.co/NWgGnUKGNi— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) November 12, 2022
Defending running quarterbacks has been an issue this season, and head coach Dan Campbell offered thoughts on Wednesday about trying to stop Fields:
Dan Campbell says you have to throw a lot of varied looks to stop a guy like Justin Fields, including sending pressure, using spies, and dropping into coverage with eyes on the backfield.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) November 9, 2022
Pride of Detroit readers might recall that after the Lions were gashed by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in the season opener (and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder in a preseason game), Detroit linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard maintained a pretty tough stance against using spies on quarterbacks.
At the start of this season, the Miami Dolphins felt really good about using crazy athletic (9.69 RAS) rookie Channing Tindall as their spy against running quarterbacks, but it was like trying to put in specific defenses to stop Kevin Garnett. I promise you Tindall tried, but it didn’t work. That’s Tindall in the first play of the clip and the image at the top of this article wearing jersey number 41 for the Dolphins.
Rookie Channing Tindall was third-down spy on Justin Fields run. In 5 Things To Know Tindall: "There is a pretty good chance Tindall will operate as a Dolphins quarterback 'spy' in 2022. He's an ideal choice to track quarterbacks such as Justin Fields."https://t.co/iqibJ94HKh— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) November 6, 2022
The video clip from NFL Matchup on ESPN backs up what coaches Campbell and Sheppard are saying, assuming the spy thing from Campbell is a smokescreen. Greg Cosell’s two example plays show both the ineffectiveness of a spy against a tremendous athlete like Fields (reinforcing Sheppard’s message) and then the difficulty experienced by young quarterbacks against varied looks (which is what Campbell emphasized).
Talked about how the Bears have used Justin Fields’ rushing ability to take advantage of man coverage on @nflnetwork, with his 13 rushes of 10+ yards since Week 7 the most of ANY player— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) November 11, 2022
Chicago takes on the Lions Sunday, who’ve deployed the 3rd-most man coverage this season pic.twitter.com/ftYNdUSRJR
Can the Lions keep Fields to under 100 yards rushing? It’s going to be on defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and his green dot leaders on defense to call a great game. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:
- Based on how often he is being double-teamed, it looks like teams are quite worried about Aidan Hutchinson:
Double team rate at Edge (x) by pass rush win rate at Edge (y), updated through 11/11.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 11, 2022
(ESPN Analytics / NFL Next Gen Stats) pic.twitter.com/3XkwyCctrv
- Our own Mike Payton answered 5 questions from Windy City Gridiron about this week’s game.
- Fearless Leader Jeremy Reisman joined the Bears Talk Underground podcast to preview the upcoming game between the Lions and Bears.
Always enjoy my bi-annual chats with Larry. https://t.co/sq1pfhwg7b— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) November 11, 2022
- The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner and Colton Pouncy posted the latest episode of the podcast One of These Years, which contemplates the defense’s role in last week’s win.
- Speaking of podcasts, you know you want more Erik in your life. Now up on the Detroit Lions Breakdown podcast site: Erik Schlitt and co-host Joe Kania posted their preview of Detroit’s Week 10 game against Chicago.
- For those who might be wondering about those heavy run formations with 6 or more linemen in the game, perhaps the Lions should lay off of it a bit (negative DVOA is bad):
One more for this thread. Plays with 6+ OL— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) November 11, 2022
CLE 79, 27.8% DVOA
DET 54, -58.1% DVOA
NE 51, -24.2% DVOA
LV 42, 36.8% DVOA
CIN 39, 40.7% DVOA
BUF 38, 21.7% DVOA
(8/8, end thread)
Lions are also not doing great in sub package defenses (negative DVOA is good on defense - this is a huge split):
One more, Lions #OnePride— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) November 11, 2022
Base: -15.9% DVOA, 4.9 yd (110)
Nickel: 17.0% DVOA, 7.1 yd (387)
- This is a sharp looking graphic from the digital media team on the midseason rookie honors we noted earlier in the week:
Way to go, fellas!@JKERB25 @aidanhutch97 @malcolmlrod pic.twitter.com/MEbmwmdFa6— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 11, 2022