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Is Michael Brockers Hurting Detroit Lions' Defense?

Free-agent Michael Brockers has struggled in his first season in Detroit.

The Detroit Lions traded a 2023 seventh-round draft pick to secure the services of veteran defensive lineman Michael Brockers.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes then made the decision to award the ex-Ram a new contract.

The 30-year-old secured a new three-year, $24 million deal that included $11 million in fully guaranteed money.

Unfortunately, the returns have been quite disappointing through the first eight games. 

Watching film of the Lions' defense against the Eagles saw a quarterback in Jalen Hurts who had far too much time to scan the field. Also concerning was the defensive line getting pushed around far too often.

“I love playing this game, I love winning, even though I haven’t this year. But, I know what it takes to get there," Brockers told reporters, following the loss to the Eagles. "I know what it takes to win, I know what it takes to turn it around, and it goes back to what I said earlier, man. We have to not think about, ‘Oh man, that’s on me,’ or whatever. ... Man, today for me personally, I had a penalty. I felt like I messed over the defense, I messed over the team, because I had a penalty, and that was a pre-snap penalty. So, that’s all mental and focus for me personally. We have to be better. I have to be more focused, more locked in. I have to lead this team better.”

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The young roster has praised Brockers' leadership inside the team's Allen Park practice facility, but unfortunately, his play has not drastically improved the Lions' ability to pressure the quarterback or stop the run.

Brockers has only recorded three pressures in eight games. 

Opponents have scored a touchdown 83.3 percent of the time they reach the red zone. 

Despite early success, Detroit's inability to win reps on third down has resulted in a couple of blowout losses. 

The Eagles were able to dominate on the ground on Sunday, which included a pivotal Hurts 20-yard scamper on third-and-12.

In the second half of the 2021 season, veteran leaders on the roster must lead by example -- not only in the weight room and in meeting rooms, but also out on the football field.