The Detroit Lions Secondary Seemed Impressive With Three Interceptions Week One.
Time to stop putting coal in the Detroit Lions secondary train for right now. While the Lions were able to get three interceptions during week one, there is a long way to go.
In 2016, Detroit was only able to pick off the ball 10 times, three of them came from players that are now on other teams in the NFL. One of the biggest things that the defense needed to work on in 2017 was turnover production. Along with the three interceptions, the defense was able to force a fumble on star running back David Johnson. This is a good step forward, but the problem of the secondary isn’t fixed just yet.
The Secondary’s Performance Wasn’t A 180
Going back to the three interceptions thrown in the week one win over Arizona, Detroit got lucky in getting these turnovers. In the first interception, Tavon Wilson was gifted a free one here. No confirmation on what went wrong for the Cardinals on this play, but Carson Palmer threw the ball right into Wilsons hands, and he even bobbled the ball a little bit before securing the interception.
Next was the Glover Quin interception and again, another mistake by Palmer. Now for this interception, it seems that Palmer overthrew his receiver, but it wasn’t just an overthrow, Palmer was facing pressure from Anthony Zettel. Zettel is seen pushing into the tackle as Palmer throws, and that could have been the reason for the overthrown ball. You credit the defensive line on that play as they were able to create pressure and force a bad pass by Palmer.
The final interception by Miles Killebrew was a lucky bounce and he happened to be in the right moment at the right time. Palmer was facing pressure again, and threw the ball too early, as the running back turned, bouncing off his shoulder and into Killebrew for a pick-six.
The Secondary Is Improving Though
Not to discredit the secondary on their interceptions, but while the interceptions weren’t as impressive as many believed them to be, the secondary still had a good game against the Cardinals. According to PFF, Darius Slay got an 83.2 grade for Sunday’s performance, finishing with one tackle and one pass deflection. Glover Quin got an 87.7 grade with his five tackles, one pass deflection, and the interception.
The most impressive cornerback on the team was Quandre Diggs. After a sophomore slump in 2016, Diggs was looking like he was the odd man out coming into the 2017 season. With D.J. Hayden signing a one-year contract and drafting Teez Tabor in the second round and Jamal Agnew in the fifth round, the writing was on the wall for Diggs.
After the preseason ended, Diggs made the roster and was given a big task on Sunday at times, shut down Larry Fitzgerald and Diggs was able to do it well. Getting an 84.4 grade from PFF and had three tackles with three pass deflections against Fitzgerald, holding Fitzgerald catch-less against Diggs.
Some other stats from the secondary on Sunday: Hayden three tackles, Wilson three tackles, a pass deflection, interception, Nevin Lawson three tackles, one pass deflection, Jamal Agnew one tackle, Teez Tabor was inactive. The Lions had 11 pass deflections in week one, and while that is a great start, Eli Manning, O’Dell Beckham Jr, and Brandon Marshall will be a better test.