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Grading the Detroit Lions first five weeks: Better than last year?

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The bye week is a good time to look at the progress of the team from last year. Let’s look at some key stats to track the Detroit Lions 2018 progress!

The Detroit Lions are headed into their bye week on a positive note. The 31-23 win over division nemesis, the Green Bay Packers, eases some of the tension about the slow start. The Lions are close to a three-game win streak, winning two of the last three.

It makes for a perfect opportunity to look at what the weaknesses were last year, and what progress has been made this season. Kick in the Crotch Weekly looks at a few key stats from last year and this year to check for improvement. Let’s get it!

Detroit Lions pass rush

A continued area of concern for educated Lions’ fans is the pass rush. An effective pass rush is even more important in an era where teams pass between 52%-72% of the time. In 2017, the Lions ranked 20th with 35 sacks. Of those, end Ziggy Ansah, last year’s leader, had 12. Through five games the Lions already have 17 sacks, third in the NFL to date.

Devon Kennard, linebacker, leads the team with 5.0, Romeo Okwara, end, and Eli Harold, linebacker, both have 3.0, while rookie end Da’Shawn Hand and linebacker Jarrad Davis both have 2.0 each. Ansah has one sack in limited action in 2018. Only Davis and Ansah were on the team in 2017. Looking at the numbers, 10.0 sacks have come from the linebacker position.

Grade: B, the production is up here. The secondary has done its job and allowed the linebackers and ends to get home. Aside from the rushing and scoring defense, the Lions have shown some growth in 2018.

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