Lions' Week 6 Defensive Grades: Matt Patricia Finally Adjusts Defense

John Maakaron

One of the biggest complaints from supporters of the Detroit Lions has been the passive defensive approach of head coach Matt Patricia.

Don't say "bend, but don't break" too loudly around your football friends and family or risk alienation. 

But, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, that all changed. 

Patricia finally adjusted his defense, and his team played with far more aggression through four quarters of action. 

According to ESPN Stats and Info, Detroit pressured Gardner Minshew II on 34 percent of his dropbacks. 

Through the first quarter of the season, Detroit's defense only got pressure on opposing quarterbacks on 16 percent of dropbacks.

Also, Detroit's secondary only played in man coverage on 39.1 percent of defensive snaps.

Here are the grades for the Lions' defense after the team's Week 6 contest with Jacksonville. 

Defensive line: A

Jaguars running back James Robinson was unable to find any room to run the football, as Detroit's defense swarmed him early and often. 

He finished the afternoon with only 29 rushing yards. 

Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara made their presence felt, and the increased pressure forced Minshew into several mistakes and turnovers. 

Flowers secured a strip sack, and Jacksonville's offense struggled to get into any sort of rhythm, based on the strong play of the defensive line.

Linebackers: B-

Detroit's linebackers deserve a certain level of credit for limiting Robinson's production. 

Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin dialed up properly-timed blitzes that forced Minshew to scramble in the pocket. 

There is still plenty of room for improvement, as tackling fundamentals are still not as consistent as Patricia would like. 

Secondary: B

Detroit did not allow the Jaguars' talented receiving corps to dominate the game. 

Keelan Cole secured six receptions for 143 yards, but Detroit's secondary limited the production of the Jaguars' other receivers -- notably Laviska Shenault and D.J. Chark. 

Duron Harmon secured his second interception of the season, and the veteran defensive back continues to anchor Detroit's secondary.

Rookie Jeff Okudah got beat deep yet again, but fortunately, Jacksonville's offense did not have too much time to keep testing Okudah throughout the game. 

Special teams: C+

Detroit's kickoff coverage was stellar, as Tony McRae continues to shine in his role on special teams. 

Matt Prater successfully made two field goals, but missed a 57-yarder. 

Punter Jack Fox didn't get much work Sunday, and booted both of his punts into the end zone. 

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Comments (7)
No. 1-4

Tavai is another example of Quin thinking he's smarter than the rest of the league. How many players in your fantasy league have finished last by taking players nobody else would too high in the draft only to find out everyone else was right in not taking them.


The differences were the defensive line’s ability to stop the run and put pressure on Minshew, as well as the secondary’s coverage and hard hitting. They got the Jaguars’ attention. Everything else fell in place. Also thought the defensive scheme was more disguised and less predictable.


Is anyone else concerned about Prater missing the 55+ yarders? He has been ultra-reliable from 40-50 yards this season but from beyond has struggled


Tavai got burned by Minshew. Took a really bad angle and got burned