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Discussion: Are you more concerned about the Lions offense or defense?

The Detroit Lions have not been in top form of late. Which side of the ball needs a greater wakeup call?

NFL: NOV 23 Packers at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What a difference a week makes.

After riding high from an improbable comeback over the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions faltered in front of a national audience. Their loss to the Green Bay Packers finished as a one-score affair, but it was Detroit blundering its way to the finish line that highlighted the day. Whether it was the offense crippling itself with turnovers or the defense letting the Packers offense operate unimpeded, it was not a good showing for a team looking for a top spot in the upcoming playoffs.

Though the season is far from over and the Lions are still sitting at 8-3, there are some concerns that need addressing for this team to be competing for a playoff spot and potential playoff win. On offense, they need to prove that their previous two weeks were anomalies going forward. On defense, they need to prove that their pieces can compete with the firepower in the NFC.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Are you more concerned about the Lions offense or defense?

My answer: I am more concerned about the Lions defense.

Goff and the Lions offense have had two of their worst performances in back-to-back games, but I believe these issues are more correctable than those on defense. As Morgan mentioned in his recent Question of the Day, Goff’s turnovers have become a significant concern, and these directly led to the loss to the Green Bay Packers and nearly resulted in a loss to the Bears. Yet these tilts also gave me a sliver of hope for the offense. Despite playing a sub-par game, Goff rallied late to pull off the upset against Chicago. Had the Lions not dug themselves such a deep hole against Green Bay, that too had the potential for a dramatic comeback. I do not believe that these types of implosions are the norm for the Lions offense. They are good enough that they can weather a turnover or two—they just need to limit shooting themselves in the foot.

The defense, however, raises more concerns.

Despite being a dozen weeks in the NFL season, this defense feels unchanged from its Week 1 counterpart. The pass rush is inconsistent at best, with its sacks coming in waves against bad teams—it’s all or nothing from this unit. This has only exacerbated the issues in the secondary. Already struggling with coverage, the secondary is being bled by the pass rushing woes. Opposing quarterbacks and receivers are given too much time and space to operate.

It does not feel like the Lions can compete with a powerhouse like the San Francisco 49ers or Philadelphia Eagles because of their defense. The Lions can win a drag race against another bad defense, such as against the Los Angeles Chargers, but to win an offensive shootout against a good defense? That might be putting too much on the offense. I do not have faith that the defense can stop a player like Christian McCaffrey or Jalen Hurts, let alone the complementary pieces around them.

Because of the lack of progress from the defense, I cannot feel confident in them down the stretch. I think the offense can rebound from a tough string of games, but the defense needs to prove it can be decent against decent opponents. Beating up on weak teams won’t cut it come January and the playoffs.

Poll

Are you more concerned about the Lions offense or defense?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Offense
    (139 votes)
  • 89%
    Defense
    (1191 votes)
1330 votes total Vote Now

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.