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Boy, oh boy, did the Lions have a hellacious week or what? 

First, Detroit's lead back Kerryon Johnson was placed on injured reserve with a right knee injury. He won't be eligible to return until Week 16 against the Denver Broncos. 

Then, starting safety Quandre Diggs, a team captain, was surprisingly shipped off to the Seattle Seahawks.

And it prompted shutdown corner Darius Slay to make some very interesting comments about the Lions organization on Thursday.


Slay has since been ruled out for Sunday's contest with the New York Giants due to a lingering hamstring injury that he initially tweaked in a Week 3 win against the Philadelphia Eagles.  

All in a week for a 2-3-1 Matt Patricia-led squad that has now lost three games in a row.  

Fan morale, to no surprise, has hit rock bottom.

The Lions need to right the ship, and need to do so soon. 

Beating the New York Giants on Sunday would certainly be a step in the right direction. 

However, it won't be enough for many Detroit fans that view Sunday's game with the Giants -- and rightfully so -- as a game that Patricia & Co. should win easily.

The Giants sit at 2-5 and in third place in the NFC East, and are starting a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones who has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in the last four weeks (4 TD: 7 INT).

It's why, at this moment, continuing to shake up the roster -- with an emphasis on making moves to win now -- is about the only thing that will boost the morale of despondent Lions fans.

With that in mind, here are three areas the Lions should look to improve in before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline at 4 p.m. EST:

Pass rush

The Lions could desperately use some help when it comes to rushing the passer.  

Opposing quarterbacks have had far too much time to make plays. 

In fact, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins had the most time to throw of any QB in Week 7. It allowed Cousins to throw for 338 yards and four scores. 

The Lions also rank dead last in a stat called "pass rush win percentage." 

According to ESPN, Patricia's defense is winning on just 24 percent of its rushes. 

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Detroit's defensive line came into the season with such high expectations, especially after the offseason acquisitions of former Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers and former Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels.

However, Daniels has barely seen the field -- has played in just three games -- while Flowers has hugely underwhelmed with only one sack to his name through six games. 

No ifs, ands or buts about it, Detroit's defensive front has stunk up the joint in 2019, and could use a huge upgrade headed into Tuesday's deadline. 

Running back

With Kerryon undergoing right knee surgery Tuesday and not being eligible to return until Week 16 at the earliest, the Lions have a clear-cut need in the backfield as the deadline approaches.

Kerryon's backup Ty Johnson, with only 23 rushes to his name in his NFL career, isn't good enough to fill the void and neither are fourth-year pro J.D. McKissic or Paul Perkins, who was recently promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.           

Solution: Trade for a running back before the deadline. 

Names out there that reportedly could be had include Miami Dolphins fourth-year back Kenyan Drake and Los Angeles Chargers two-time Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon.   

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Lions have expressed interest in Drake, and he could be had for a fourth-round pick.

Although Drake has rushed for a career-low 3.7 yards per carry this season, he would still serve as an upgrade over the trio of backs the Lions presently have at their disposal. 


Another position the Lions could badly use help at is linebacker. 

A chief reason why: the underwhelming play of third-year pro and middle linebacker Jarrad Davis. 

The University of Florida product has struggled all season long and most notably in pass coverage.

In fact, Pro Football Focus has Davis graded at a dismal 35.7 in coverage. He's also allowed a passer rating of 104.6 when targeted.

And tight ends have eaten him alive. 

The Vikings' TE duo of Irv Smith and Kyle Rudolph combined for 10 catches, 108 yards and one TD last week.

Davis has proven time and time again that he's not equipped to serve as the leader in the middle of Detroit's defense.

It's time to give more playing time to rookie Jahlani Tavai, who's looked better than Davis when given the chance to play.   

If Tavai, though, is deemed to not be ready to take on the starter's job right now, a trade needs to be made to upgrade the position before Tuesday. 

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