8:00 PM ET Tue, 6 Sept 2018 | 05:50:15The Lions have lost the battle of the playoffs for the third straight year, with their last-place finish in 2016 a crushing disappointment for a team that seemed to be poised to break out in the NFC.
And yet, as Detroit’s season was fading away, the Lions were making strides.
They were putting together a solid offensive line and an experienced roster with the ability to take the next step.
They had some good pieces on defense and a lot of young talent at linebacker.
The Lions’ defense, however, has been a major question mark all year.
This is the team that finished third in the NFL in yards allowed per game and second in sacks.
The unit has allowed a league-high 25.9 points per game.
That’s the worst mark in the league, and it’s not close.
This has been an offensive team with some good players.
The problem is, the team has struggled to run the ball, particularly on third downs.
The team has not only been bad on third down, but it has been particularly bad on first down.
And this has been especially bad when the Lions have had to deal with a defense that has played the past few seasons like the Dallas Cowboys.
The offensive line has been porous, with the most significant issues on special teams.
The offense has struggled on third and long, especially when the defense has played like it.
The defense has struggled in coverage and on the ground, and while the Lions haven’t allowed a single 100-yard rusher, they’ve given up 4.8 yards per carry.
There are some legitimate concerns about this unit, but as long as the Lions can improve in those areas, they’re still a good team.