Secondary worse than last year? Is that even possible?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Free Press writer Nick Cotsonika has an article pointing it out.

Except for interceptions -- the Lions have three by defensive backs, after one last year -- the stats are dreadful.

Last year, the Lions allowed opponents to complete 68.4% of their passes and post a 110.9 combined passer rating. Those were horrible numbers, worst in the NFL in both categories.

This year, they're worse. The Lions are allowing opponents to complete 73.3% of their passes and post a 119.7 combined passer rating. Again, they're worst in both categories.

Consider the NFL records for individual quarterbacks. The highest completion percentage ever in a season was 70.55 (Cincinnati's Ken Anderson in 1982). The highest passer rating ever in a season was 121.1 (Indianapolis' Peyton Manning in 2004).

In other words, it's like the Lions are facing the best quarterback of all time -- all the time.

The pass rush certainly plays a role. But the Lions have been beaten physically and blown assignments too often on the back end. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he hesitated on a touchdown throw Sunday because he was expecting to see a safety and couldn't believe his receiver was so open.

Schwartz also notes in the article that the long runs the Lions are giving up far too often are also on the secondary.

There's only so much that can be done in one off-season. The Lions certainly turned over the secondary and brought in a lot of new names. But it never seems to matter, even when the coaches and coordinators change. It's the same awful results.

CB and S opposite Delmas seem to need help desperately, and the Lions really need to get a 10-to-15-sack DE in the draft as well.

They're talking about it in The Den.