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Bye week discussion: Taking stock

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8 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

I like the Lions chances more than ever right now.  They need to stop running games, but other than that I like the team a lot.

“They need to stop running games” is an understatement. 

The only game where they really slowed a team’s running game was against NE in week 3. Sony Michel didn’t play in week 1, and had just 10 carries in week 2, so he was still just feeling his way in week 3. (Since then he’s run for 112, 98, and 106.)

Realistically, it is going to take the team all season, and probably into next season, to get to a point where they understand the defense well enough to be reading and reacting, rather than reading, thinking, and reacting; they are likely to be well below average in rushing defense this season. 

If they are going to succeed this season, it will have to look like their game against Green Bay, where they finished in the red zone, got ahead early, and forced Rodgers to drop back 52 times against a talented secondary and a disciplined pass rush. Also it won’t hurt if other teams spot the Lions 20 points on poor special teams play. 

All that said, the NFC North and both wild card spots are totally up for grabs. Anybody (but AZ and SF) can make the playoffs in this year’s NFC, even the Lions. 

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