Lions look for new strategy to defend mobile QBs

AllenPark – Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell would prefer his words weren’t as prophetic as they ultimately were, but he clearly had a pretty good idea of ​​how the Philadelphia Eagles would attack his team’s defense.

In last season’s team matchup, the Eagles ran wild, rushing for 236 yards and four touchdowns. In the absence of proof that the Lions had figured out the recipe for slowing down that ground play, Campbell expected more of the same in this year’s season opener.

“If I’m her, I’ll do the same,” Campbell said last week. “We’ll come back and attack you the same way and see if you fixed any of your problems. Now they’re going to make a few tweaks here and there, but I mean I’d fully expect them to come in and see if we’ve got our problems sorted out.”

And that’s exactly what the eagles did with the same success in the 38:35 victory on Sunday. This time they rushed for 216 yards and another four touchdowns.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is brought down by the Lions' Tracy Walker in the second quarter.

After reviewing the film from repeated showings, Campbell recognized the classic pitfalls of inconsistent gap accountability, poor tackling and missed tasks, all of which are quickly magnified when trying to defend a double-threat quarterback who is eager is to take advantage of all of the above.

“Firstly, we can’t keep our feet on the guy,” Campbell said. “And it doesn’t matter that he’s the quarterback; You have to finish on the quarterback. When he’s running with the football, you can’t worry, ‘Is he going down? Is not he? How will he walk? This?’ Treat him like a running back.”

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