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Lions vs. Panthers preview podcast: Can Detroit’s pass defense get back on track?

The Detroit Lions are rolling, but their pass defense has been shaky the last two games. Can they rebound this week vs. the Panthers and continue their overall hot streak?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

For the past two games, the Detroit Lions pass defense has fallen back to some troubling tendencies. Kirk Cousins was able to keep the Minnesota Vikings in the game late, tallying 425 yards while completing over 75 percent of his passes and finding the end zone twice. More concerning, though, was Jets quarterback Zach Wilson going over 300 yards against Detroit last week, including a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter that nearly won the game for the Jets.

Detroit has particularly been bad giving up big plays. Over the past two games alone, the Lions have allowed 14 pass plays of 20+ yards, and they could be even more susceptible to getting beat deep this week with starting safety DeShon Elliott already declared out.

Here’s the good news: the Carolina Panthers have one of the least efficient passing attacks in the NFL. They rank 30th in passing yards per game, 30th in passer rating and 30th in pass offense DVOA.

Can the Lions bounce back this week and take care of business against a mediocre defense? Can they continue to gain ground in the NFC playoff race? Will Detroit ever get their running game going and if not, can Jared Goff continue to play solid football—especially outdoors, where he has struggled in his history?

We discuss all of these topics and much, much more on this week’s First Byte preview podcast. Check it out below:

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