Are the Detroit Lions the Real Deal?

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How Well Does Damon “Snacks” Harrison Fit Based On Play From Miami? 

It has been a while since Detroit Lions fans have been this optimistic about this team. In fact, there’s so much hope for this team that the Lions are even earning some national media praise this week after a convincing win against the Miami Dolphins alongside the trade for defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison. With all the hype around the Lions, let’s look at how they played against the Dolphins to see how good they actually are.

Let’s start off by looking at the defensive side of the ball. With the Dolphins facing a second and seven, the Dolphins line up in a single back formation with three wide receivers. The Lions play a man cover scheme, with linebacker Christian Jones as the spy (Figure 1.1).

As soon as the ball is snapped the Dolphins tight end Nick O’Leary released freely off the line of scrimmage with Lions safety Glover Quin in man coverage a few yards off the line of scrimmage (Figure 1.2).

As O’Leary runs his crossing route he gains a step on Quin. However, Jones is still underneath the route as he is still maintaining his spy duties (Figure 1.3).

Quarterback Brock Osweiler doesn’t see Jones underneath O’Leary’s route and decides to throw it his way. As Jones is in the position, he is able to knock the ball away and almost come down with an interception (Figure 1.4).

What Damon Harrison Brings To The Detroit Lions

Now let’s look at how Harrison is able to help the Lions run game. Facing a second and ten, the Dolphins decide to run the ball with running back Kenyan Drake from a single back formation (Figure 2.1).

This play shows a huge weakness for the Lions that the addition of Harrison should be able to help with. The Lions defensive line and linebackers are all pushed back by the Dolphins offensive line. As you can see, there are five designated Dolphins blockers past the line of scrimmage paving the way for Drake’s touchdown run (Figure 2.2).

As the Dolphins offensive line is able to neutralize the weak Lions run defense, Drake is able to find a hole and explode through it for a 50-yard touchdown run (Figure 2.3).

Having a run stopper like “Snacks” will help the Lions neutralize these run plays. Harrison will be able to eat up space, and opposing offensive line won’t be able to push him back. This opens up the plays for the linebackers as well as the rest of the defensive line as Harrison will command a double team on certain plays. No matter which offensive lineman Harrison matches up against, he will be able to get into the backfield to help stop these long runs that have been hurting this Lions team.

The Lions have been riding a lot of momentum by winning three out of their last four. However, if the addition of Harrison pans out, this Lions team could be dangerous come January. One can only hope.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow Saurav Kolli on Twitter @SauravKolliand leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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