On Sunday, the Detroit Lions had yet another golden opportunity to right the ship when they hosted the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.
With a win, the Lions would have moved to 3-2-1 on the season and right back into the playoff hunt. But instead, they laid an egg as the Vikings offense absolutely shredded the Lions almost non-existent defense en route to a 42-30 win.
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook made running the ball look way to easy but it was the play of Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins that really left everyone scratching their heads. Cousins seemingly had all day to throw the football on Sunday as the Lions pass rush rarely got even the slightest amount of pressure on him.
Following the game, DL Trey Flowers was asked why the Lions pass rush has struggled so far this season and his answer explained things perfectly.
“Today, it wasn’t a lot of opportunities because like I said, we didn’t stop the run,” Flowers stated. “Anytime you don’t stop the run, they run a lot of play-action, now it’s like you try to stop the run, but now it’s a play-action pass. It’s tough to get there on the play-action pass, obviously it’s still our job to get there, but I think we’ve got to start out by stopping the run. That’s one of the big things we’ve got to fix. We’ve got to earn the opportunity to rush the passer.”
Flowers is 100% correct in his assessment of the Lions defense through the first six games of the season. A year ago, after adding Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison to the mix, the Lions had one of the top rush defenses in the NFL and now, that rush defense has been horrendous.
As Flowers noted, if the Lions cannot figure out a way to stop the run, teams will continue to run play-action, which means getting to the quarterback will continue to be difficult.