Skip to main content

Detroit Lions Have Worst Red-Zone Defense in NFL

Aaron Glenn explains the difficulties the Detroit Lions' defense is currently having.

The Detroit Lions' red-zone defense ranks dead last (No. 32) in the National Football League, through the first three weeks of the 2022 season. 

Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has seen his football team allow opposing offenses to score on 90.9 percent of red-zone trips. 

"I would say this in the red zone. I mean, you got to watch this thing. There are times when we're in position and we're just not finishing plays," Glenn explained. "And, a lot of times we've got to make sure that we're coaching the players to do the things they need to do, too. I will continue to say that it is a two-way street between coaches and players. We got the team to understand that. 

"But, man, you watch those early parts of the game -- we're playing like gangbusters. Our guys are competing, they're playing fast, they're playing physical. But, man, once it gets to those crunch times, it just seems like, 'How do we do this here? Or, do we have to do this?' We just keep doing the same things we've been doing to put ourselves in that position. And, that's what we have to continue to coach, and that's what we have to continue to do as players." 

The coaching staff understands the team needs to find consistency in its efforts to limit opponents scoring points, executing in the red zone and getting off of the field on third down. 

"We got to get better," Glenn explained further, regarding the issues in the red zone. "We got to get better, and we got to execute the right way. And, that's just what it is. When it comes to points allowed, that goes with the red zone, you know. I think teams had a number of possessions at the one-or-two-yard line. Those are hard to stop. But, we have to hold them and end up stopping those plays."

Lions head coach Dan Campbell explained this week what he felt the foundation of the defense was and that it could aid the entire unit moving forward.

“Well, I think we can be disruptive. When we’re disruptive on first down or second down to get them in third, we can be pretty good," Campbell said. "Look, I think losing (John) Cominsky a week ago hurt, because he’s a -- he’s kind of a guy who sets up all of our stunts.

"He’s unselfish and plays hard, and that sets some things up. But, we’re adjusting off of that, and we’ve got enough to do that," Campbell continued. "And, there again, I think last week, the thing that was a little tough is we weren’t as disruptive as we’ve been on first and second down. I do think that we can do those things. We hit a stumbling block last week. But, I think that’s the way we have to play. If we can’t get them behind the sticks on first or second down, it can be hard on us just with where we’re at. But, I think our defense is going to bounce back this week.”

This week, the Lions' offense matches up against a Seattle Seahawks defense that ranks fourth in the NFL in limiting opponents from scoring in the red zone. The Seahawks are only allowing touchdowns on 38.5 percent of red-zone trips.