Following the Detroit Lions' victory over the Arizona Cardinals, a few members of the defense revealed postgame that they heard and read the things that were said about their defense the past few days.
After blowing leads late in back-to-back games, Matt Patricia's entire defensive scheme was called into question, and the entire roster was placed under the microscope.
"Coming to the game, for me personally, I was tired of being disrespected by everyone. I think the whole defense was tired of being disrespected," rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah said. "The whole team was just tired of being disrespected, so this is a game we took personally. We knew that we had to get back on track in the win column, and going against this offense was a great opportunity to show the work that we put in this week. We put in a lot of work, and eventually, we knew it was going to show up sooner or later.”
Since his controversial ejection in the season opener against the Bears, veteran linebacker Jamie Collins has started to make plays for a defense in desperate need of leadership and playmakers.
Collins helped force one of Detroit's three interceptions against the Cardinals by generating pressure. And then, he intercepted one of Kyler Murray's passes himself.
“We put a lot on ourselves, man. We set our bar high on defense, no matter what. It’s been rough the last couple games. But, it don’t stop, regardless of what we’ve given up. We still got games to play," Collins said. "We just got to keep pushing, keep fighting and put it on ourselves to be better.”
Safety Duron Harmon has become the anchor of this defense, and his interception of Murray was the first forced turnover Detroit secured in 2020.
"Don't kill us this week now," Harmon said in conclusion of his video conference following Detroit's victory.
The veteran safety acknowledged seeing and reading some of the negative things expressed about the team in the past couple of weeks.
The Lions' defense will again be tested soon, as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints visit Ford Field on Sunday.
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