Rookie Defensive Class Key to Detroit Lions Winning

By Luis Vilanova
Darius Slay
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions need to continue riding the positive momentum of the 40-10 Thanksgiving Day triumph over the Green Bay Packers. The defense proved to be vital in the win against the Packers and the rookie defenders earned the game’s honors.

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah has bounced back from a high ankle sprain and has posted back-to-back games with multiple sacks. Ziggy has been absolutely dominant on the defensive line and is a key ingredient to Detroit’s winning formula; his presence automatically makes Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley look even more dominant as they line up against single coverage more often. His pass rushing ability reminds me of the great Robert Porcher.

The Lions’ secondary had its best showing with an injured Chris Houston and another starting opportunity for under-performing Darius Slay. Slay had an extremely strong showing as he deflected three passes to shut down the Packers’ offense. There were high expectations at the beginning of the season for the second round pick, but unfortunately his role had to be modified to special teams after much inconsistency. Being a rookie cornerback in the NFL is never an easy task ,and his inability to make an immediate impact took a toll on the Lions’ pass defense.

Now that there are only four games left on the season and the Lions are in great position to win the NFC North, the performance of the defensive rookie class has become a determining component to winning games. The performance against Green Bay was just the opening act to a great defense that we’ve yet to see. I pick the Lions to go 4-0 during the final stretch of the season.

Luis Vilanova is a Detroit Lions writer for Follow him/her on Twitter, “Like” him/her on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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