In the last six seasons, the Detroit Lions' defense has not been able to reach the same level of performance that the 2014 roster achieved.
Led by Ndamukong Suh, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Lions' defense finished second in the National Football League in total defense in '14, allowing just 300.9 yards per game.
The Lions also finished third in points per game, allowing just 17.6 points a game, while leading the NFL in rushing defense. They surrendered just 69.3 rushing yards per game.
Unfortunately, following a controversial 24-20 playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the defense lost one of its major pieces during the offseason.
Suh, who recorded 53 tackles and 8.5 sacks during the '14 campaign, signed a six-year, $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, which included $60 million in guaranteed money.
The contract made him the highest-paid defensive player in league history, passing Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
"Take out the spice, things get bland," Suh wrote on social media.
Following Suh's exit, the Lions finished 7-9, and missed the playoffs the following year.
After moving on from Jim Caldwell, one of the most successful coaches in team history, the team turned to ex-Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to try and take the next step forward.
Unfortunately, the defense lacked "spice," character and an identity during Patricia's tenure.
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In fact, the 2020 defense was one of the organization's worst, setting team records for most points and most yards allowed in a single season. It was also statistically worse than Detroit's defense in 2008, during which the Lions went 0-16.
Suh enjoyed one of the highlights of his career this past season, as he was part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, to win the Lombardi Trophy.
It is possible that the new Lions regime, led by "spicy" Dan Campbell, can bring some spark back to the defensive side of the football.
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