Who the hell are the Detroit Lions right now?

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    What are the Detroit Lions? This is a question we ask ourselves every single season. Here we are again in 2018 http://www.thelionsfootballauthentic.com/sam-martin-jersey-authentic , and I still am not completely sure what this team’s identity is at this point. It’s easy to look at this team from the outside and see a 2-3 record and think this Lions team is destined fall into a hole and miss the playoffs, but from the inside, it often seems this is a great team trapped in an okay team’s body. On Sunday the Lions came away with yet another big win this season, another win that few saw coming. Most importantly, it was a win against a division rival that they absolutely had to have. The Lions also have their first signature win of the year against the Patriots on national television in Week 3. These two wins together make the Lions look like they’re capable of anything. But then there’s the three losses: The blowout loss to the Jets and the two close heartbreakers against the 49ers and Cowboys. The 49ers and Cowboys losses could have gone either way. Realistically, the Lions are a called back interception and controversial penalty away from being 4-1 right now. That blowout loss to the Jets looks like a crazy outlier at this point. Since then, the Lions offense has accounted for 1,487 total yards and 108 points. The offense that couldn’t get going Week 1 is now 13th in points per game. They’re not the best, but they’re getting it done. Matthew Stafford has completely returned to form after a horrible four interception performance. Since Week 1, he’s thrown for 1,099 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception. He’s completed 68.2 percent of his passes and has a passer rating of 108.4. Perhaps the most impressive (and somewhat surprising) thing through five games has been the Lions run game. So far, the Lions have rushed for 486 yards, good for 19th in the league. That’s far from dominant, but that’s way up from where they’ve ranked in the past four seasons.Kerryon Johnson has been a stud. The rookie has rushed for 286 yards so far (15th among all running backs and fourth among all rookies), but more impressively http://www.thelionsfootballauthentic.com/tavon-wilson-jersey-authentic , he’s sixth in the league in yards per carry with 5.7. On the defensive side of things, this where all Lions fans should have concern. The Lions currently have the 17th ranked defense by yardage, which may not sound all that bad, but the Lions have already allowed 187 more yards than they had allowed at this time in 2017. They’ve also been unable to capture that same turnover magic they had early on the year last season. They’ve only forced six turnovers thus far, while at this point last year, they had 11. Even more concerning is that the Lions have the 26th ranked scoring defense. Teams are currently scoring damn near at will against the Lions. Take all of this into account and it’s easy to see why so many are calling the Lions unpredictable after their win over the Packers on Sunday. In my opinion, this team is still the same team I wrote about after the 49ers game. This is a team that is super close—maybe closer than they’ve ever been to being a contender. But they still have work to do, and as I said then, I’m still all in.Going into the bye week, the Lions need to get a few things done. They need to get healthy first and foremost, but they also need to work on this defense. I, for one, think they need to get heavily involved during the trade deadline, because this is a team capable of going on a run if they can get the pass rush help they desperately need. The Lions certainly have a list of games that they can win coming out of the bye. They have a Dolphins team that could be on three-game losing streak by then, a Seahawks team that’s been struggling to get their run game going, a Vikings team that confuses me and a Bears team that the Lions have consistently beaten over the years. The question is: will they? They have the talent on offense. They have a defense that can be middling if they clean up a few things up. But it’s going to take the Lions going out and doing what they need to do to make it happen. What the Lions do out of the bye will define them. They’re either the team I think is close or they’re a fallacy. Right now I can’t say that I’m sure either way.Where is Teez Tabor? The New York Jets had the ball at the Detroit Lions 21-yard line five minutes into the second half of their Monday night season opener. The game was tied at 17 as Detroit had driven down the field for their lone offensive touchdown of the day only minutes earlier. Sam Darnold took the snap out of shotgun as receiver Quincy Enunwa took off on a quick out route. Nevin Lawson Womens Kenny Golladay Jersey , the cornerback tasked to play coverage on the play, got caught in the route of another Jets receiver. The Lions corner got rubbed off the play, Enunwa made an easy catch and turned up field. By the time Lawson could recover, Enunwa was at the 5-yard line and a poor tackle from the defensive back threw the receiver into the end zone for a touchdown. New York held the lead for the rest of the game and this touchdown would quickly trigger a Lions collapse. One could ask why Lawson, the oft-maligned corner who made a name for himself by being one of the most penalized players in the NFL, was even on the field. Better yet, why is he even still on the team?While these questions do seem a little harsh they make more sense if you put them in the context of the Lions roster building strategy over the past few seasons. The Detroit Lions selected cornerback Teez Tabor in the second round of the 2017 draft. It was a choice that was instantly met with some backlash. Tabor tested awfully at the combine and was expected to possibly fall to Day 3. Bob Quinn took a chance on him, though, hoping that the instincts and coverage ability he showed at the University of Florida would make up for athletic deficiencies.At this point we knew that Lawson was not very good. DJ Hayden was signed to take over the nickel role and if things went right, Tabor was supposed to start across Darius Slay. Lawson was set to be a free agent in 2018 and Detroit already had the depth necessary to replace him. Nothing went to plan. Quandre Diggs stepped up big time and started over Hayden. Despite Hayden being the third best nickel corner on the roster (Lawson is a decent nickel in his own right) he was still chosen to be on the gameday roster over Tabor. Tabor was inactive for much of the beginning of the season and we were told that the plan was to ease him in to the action. The rookie never saw regular playing time until very late in the season, though, and the argument that he should be eased into the action never made sense from the beginning. A player like Tabor, who does not have the physical gifts needed to succeed in the NFL but has the mental capacity and high football IQ to make up for it, is not a developmental pick. The Lions gave him a second-round grade as a high floor, low ceiling, player that could make an impact immediately. This makes sense Youth Matthew Stafford Jersey , too, as Lawson had an impending free agency decision and it is always easier to replace a starter from within. The second-round pick being scratched almost every game to start the season was a huge red flag that many overlooked. While the Lions technically had cornerback depth, no one other than Slay was a truly above replacement player there. Even after Diggs made a move to safety, it was Hayden, who was awful in 2017, that saw a majority of the team’s snaps at nickel. Tabor became a glorified linebacker at points last season, replacing fellow Florida draft pick Jarrad Davis on passing downs. Tabor showed no signs of being the NFL-ready prospect Quinn thought he was in 2017, and the 2018 offseason may have put the nail in the coffin for him. Detroit re-signed safety Tavon Wilson and drafted Tracy Walker, signaling a move back to the slot for Diggs. They added Deshawn Shead for more depth at corner as well. The writing was really on the wall for Tabor when Detroit re-signed Lawson, the man he was supposed to replace all along. While Shead was eventually released, Tabor failed to beat out Lawson for the starting job yet again in 2018. Against the Jets Monday night he only played two defensive snaps. The player that Detroit drafted as an NFL-ready prospect that doesn’t really have much room to develop played two snaps. Two. The only time when Tabor saw the field on defense Monday night was when Slay had to leave the game with an injury. He still hasn’t carved out a role for himself on this team and is still only a depth piece on this defense.Now over a year into his career, one has to ask when Tabor will finally get his chance, if ever. Lawson played another awful game and the Lions secondary got gashed. Yet still the Lions believed they had a better chance to succeed without Tabor on the field. Where is the smart, instinctual, NFL ready-corner we were promised last season?Where is Teez Tabor?

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