In some alternate universe, we're excited about the Detroit Lions today.
On Sunday they were without running back D'Andre Swift and receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark. That's three big-time playmakers. Without them, Detroit put up 520 yards and 45 points. That's one of the more impressive offensive days we'll see this NFL season, given the absences. Finally, the Lions have an exciting team again!
Yeah, nobody is talking about that.
The Lions' rapid improvement on offense is entirely overshadowed. The Lions had 45 points but the Seattle Seahawks scored 48. They had 555 yards. Seattle isn't exactly an offensive powerhouse either. The Lions are 1-3 mostly because they can't stop anyone.
The Lions defense has been truly awful this season. At least we're seeing a lot of points.
Lions scoring at a record clip
Lions games are like Big 12 games at this point.
According to NFL Research, the 281 points scored in the Lions' first four games is an NFL record. They've scored 140 and allowed 141.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 2, 2022
The Lions lead the NFL in points scored with 140. The Kansas City Chiefs are second at 129.
They also lead the NFL in points allowed (141), and by a wide margin. The Seahawks are second at 115.
That's quite a difficult combination to achieve. Even though the NFL likes to encourage scoring, it's stunning to see 70 total points being scored on average in one team's games. You might see that on Saturday but not on Sunday very often.
The good news is the Lions offense. They've put together a lot of fun talent. The offensive line is excellent. Swift, St. Brown and tight end T.J. Hockenson are among the best at their position. They'll even add playmaking first-round receiver Jameson Williams, coming off a torn ACL last season, at some point this season. Jared Goff is doing a nice job orchestrating it all. The playcalling has been very effective.
That's the good news.
Lions giving up many points too
The Lions defense is a problem. Detroit was playing catch-up the entire game on Sunday. The Lions defense had a shot to come up with one play to perhaps win the game. It was third-and-5 in the fourth quarter. The Lions trailed, 41-38, and a stop likely would have forced a punt on fourth down. The Seahawks handed the ball to Rashaad Penny, who ran 41 yards for a touchdown.
That sums up the Lions defense through four games. The Seahawks had 320 yards passing and 235 yards rushing. The Lions couldn't stop anything.
“That was a poor defensive performance,” rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We have to do better. Your offense scores 45, I think we have to win that game.”
There are questions about defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who was featured prominently on "Hard Knocks," though head coach Dan Campbell said he's not going to make a change right now.
Somehow, the Lions are going to have to get better on defense or lose a lot of games. They've already lost games in which they scored 35, 24 and 45 points.
At least their games have been fun to watch.