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Who the hell are the Detroit Lions right now? What are the Detroit Lions? This is a question we ask ourselves every single season. Here we are again in 2018 Youth Isaac Nauta Jersey , 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, 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 Austin Bryant Detroit Lions Jersey , 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. These players will play a key role in 2019." Detroit Lions RosterDetroit Lions Opinion2019 Detroit Lions roster rankings: Players 30-21New,10commentsThese players will play a key role in 2019. EDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:2019 Detroit Lions roster rankings: Players 30-21TwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Norm Hall/Getty ImagesWe’re into the meat and potatoes part of the Detroit Lions roster. Players we ranked between 30 and 21 aren’t exactly the superstars of the team, but they all are likely to play key roles. While you’d like to have as many Pro Bowl/All Pro talents on your roster, it’s really the play of that second and third tier of players that will determine your fate. Lions teams of the past have had superstars. What they’ve never truly had is depth behind them. Is this year different? Let’s take a look at the players we ranked between 21 and 30 on the 2019 Detroit Lions roster.Previously:Players 89-81Players 80-71Players 70-61Players 60-51Players 50-41Players 40-3130. S Tavon Wilson (High: 27, Low: 35)Last year: 22As the Lions continued to add more talent to their safety room, Tavon Wilson can probably feel the walls closing in. The veteran safety took an additional step to secure a roster spot, by taking a paycut back in May. Last year, Wilson played in just 31 percent of snaps, behind Quandre Diggs (96%) and Glover Quin (84%). With Quin gone now White Isaac Nauta Jersey , Tracy Walker (21% of snaps last year) is expected to step in, not Wilson.That being said, there is no one in the defensive backfield more well-versed in Patricia’s defense than Wilson and that kind of veteran knowledge is going to be very useful for the young players in the room (Walker: 24, Andrew Adams: 26, Will Harris: 20).29. LB Jahlani Tavai (High: 25, Low: 30)Lions fans are understandably cautious about the team’s second-round pick. Jahlani Tavai wasn’t a player many draft analysts had great things to say about. And while the Lions certainly need more depth and youth at the linebacker position, it’s unclear how quickly Tavai will be placed into the starting lineup. Detroit very clearly loves Jarrad Davis, and Christian Jones finished the 2018 season very strong. Tavai’s skillset is very versatile, as he’s lined up on the edge and in the middle in college. However, serious questions about his athleticism could make for a rocky transition to the NFL.28. S Will Harris (High: 22, Low: 33)Many are a little more optimistic about Detroit’s third-round pick, Will Harris. Unlike Tavai, Harris has athleticism in spades. However, like Tavai, his role in 2019 isn’t exactly clear. Predictions range from immediate starter to potential special teams role player. Detroit is pretty crowded at safety, and the Lions won’t have to rush Harris in if they don’t want to. His rookie season expectations will likely rely on Harris himself. If he grasps this defense quickly, a starting role isn’t out of the question. If he understandably needs some time, he can contribute on special teams and in some defensive subpackages. 27. K Matt Prater (High: 23, Low: 32)Last year: 10Continuing our theme this year of special teamers falling way down the list, this is yet another sign the Lions’ roster may actually getting better between the 40s and 20s. However Luke Willson Jersey , there is reason to believe Prater’s 2018 performance was also a little responsible for this fall. He was just 8-for-12 from 40 yards and longer, and it’s clear his power isn’t quite what it used to be. Of course, he’s about to turn 35, so no one can blame him. 26. CB/PR Jamal Agnew (High: 22, Low: 31)Last year: 24 Agnew is one of the more fascinating players on this year’s roster. After a thrilling rookie season, an injury pretty much derailed most of his 2018 follow-up year. Now with the Lions much deeper in the secondary—and with a clear nickel corner on the roster—Agnew’s value to the team is probably at its lowest.Still, if Agnew can recapture his explosiveness in the punt return game, he’ll obviously be worth of a roster spot. But I wouldn’t say his place on the roster is guaranteed anymore. 25. RB C.J. Anderson (High: 18, Low: 28)For a running back that has literally never rushed for less than 4.0 yards per carry in his career, it’s kind of amazing that Anderson has bounced around over the past few years. For his career, he’s averaged 4.5 YPC and he’s coming off an impressive stretch with the Los Angeles Rams that saw him rush for 488 yards in his last five games (including three playoff games). He won’t be the starter in Detroit, but he brings a lot more promise to the No. 2 role than LeGarrette Blount did last year. 24. RB Theo Riddick (High: 13, Low: 39)Last year: 16Theo Riddick has been the subject of much cap casualty conversations this offseason, but he’s managed to make it this far. There’s no question Riddick is coming off a disappointing season that saw a career-low in yards per catch (6.3). Oddly enough, it was also his most successful as a runner (4.3 YPC). Still, Riddick’s value comes in his versatility. He’s a receiver. He’s a third-down pass blocker. And he’s an adequate rusher, if needed. I’m a little surprised to see him above Anderson, but I do think all of the talk about cutting him was a little premature.23. LB Christian Jones (High: 19, Low: 27)Last year: 35Jones has a starting position on the defense pretty much locked up for Week 1. But with the addition of Jahlani Tavai, you have to wonder how the Lions will shuffle their lineup once they think he’s ready to go. Tavai’s versatility could push Jarrad Davis to the outside Sylvester Williams Jersey , leaving Jones with just a potential subpackage role on the team.However, I think we’re a little far from that. Jones was solid in the final two months of 2018, and Tavai will likely take a little bit of time. 22. WR Danny Amendola (High: 17, Low: 28)Amendola is not Golden Tate. Let’s get that out of the way immediately. But in terms of work ethic, football IQ and comfortability under Matt Patricia, you won’t find many players that check all these boxes as emphatically as Amendola. Amendola does come with some injury concerns, but when he’s healthy, he’s effective. And considering he’s already put in some extra work with Matthew Stafford, it’s fair to say Amendola will be a significant part of the game plan in 2019. 21. DE Romeo Okwara (High: 18, Low: 25)When the Lions claimed Romeo Okwara off of waivers last year, it wasn’t a very popular move. In turn, the Lions cut fan favorite Anthony Zettel. While Okwara had a productive preseason, his career with the Giants was unassuming, at best. However, he made a lot of fans in 2018. Okwara led the Lions defense with 7.5 sacks, and did a decent job filling in for Ezekiel Ansah for the majority of the year. He still struggles with pass-rushing moves, but he’s a decent edge setter and run defender.His performance was good enough to earn a two-year deal in Detroit this offseason, and at just 24 years old, we may have just seen the tip of the iceberg for Okwara.
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