Lions' Jarrad Davis Has Looked Better the Last Three Weeks
Through the first nine weeks of the NFL season, Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis was the worst graded off-ball linebacker in the the league, per Pro Football Focus.
One of the reasons why was his fifth-worst run defense grade among linebackers in that span.
In the last three weeks, though, Davis has completely turned it around.
Since Week 10, the third-year pro has been PFF's No. 1 ranked linebacker against the run.
It's no coincidence that the Lions' run defense has also been performing better as of late.
They still aren't at the elite level they were at during the second half of last season. However, at least they are currently somewhat respectable.
Over the last three games, the Lions' defense has allowed a 3.36-yard per carry average for a total of 242 yards -- 80.6 yards rushing per game.
In the eight games prior, Detroit was allowing a 4.74-yard per carry average and 135.8 yards per game.
Yes, the Lions have played two of the bottom-six offenses in the NFL for rushing -- the Redskins and Bears -- since Week 10.
At the same time, however, they did a nice job of containing Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in Week 11.
Considering the success the Cowboys were having in the passing game, it's not as if they really tried to establish the ground attack, though.
In saying all this, it's unfair to completely discredit Davis for his part in stopping the run during his three-game tear. He has done his part.
Unfortunately, throughout Davis' career, his highs are very high, and his lows are very low. There just never seems to be a happy medium.
This most recent example isn't the first time that Davis has pulled a complete 180 midseason.
During his rookie year in 2017, Davis had his fair share of growing pains, but was the fourth-best graded linebacker the last six weeks of the season after Lions coaches took some responsibilities off his plate.
It's stretches like these that give some reason to believe that Davis can be a solid NFL linebacker.
Obviously, he needs to be more consistent. There are flaws to his game, but it's difficult to ever find a perfect player.
A franchise that is still trying to find success like the Lions can't afford to strike out on Davis and other former first-rounders.
In year No. 3 of his career and with it teetering towards the "bust" label, it's crucial for Davis to continue playing good football.