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What Do The Wounded Lions Need To Do To Improve Coming Out Of The Bye Week?

Panic, rage, and apathy are setting in for some Lions fans, but maybe a change of perspective can change your viewing experience.

The Lions Need To Get And Stay Healthy

Having zero players on your injury report is impossible for any NFL team, but the amount and severity of injuries vary greatly from team to team and year to year. The “injury bug” seems to have come in waves for the Lions so far this season.

They had players like Jeff Okudah, Jerry Jacobs, Romeo Okwara, and Jameson Williams that came into this offseason rehabbing from prior year injuries. Okudah is the only one from this group who has been able to bounce back and even start, and I think has played as well or better than most could have hoped for. Jacobs could be back as soon as October 23rd against the Cowboys after returning to practice last week. The timetable for Romeo and Williams remains unclear.

One of the biggest blows might have been losing pieces of the offensive line that was projected to be one of the NFL’s top units. Starting Right Guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered a back injury in the last preseason game against Pittsburgh and had to have surgery, placing him on IR. The other OG Jonah Jackson injured his finger during a week two practice and missed three games. Center Frank Ragnow also missed week two with groin and foot injuries. Ironically, the most beat up this interior line was, in week two, when the Lions managed their only win so far this year against the Commanders. This unit must get healthy to re-establish chemistry and reach their full potential.

Running back D’Andre Swift and Wide Receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark need to get back to full strength, or at least close to it, to give Jared Goff his dependable weapons back so that he can get his confidence and groove back.

On defense, Defensive Linemen John Cominsky, Charles Harris, Josh Paschal, and Levi Onwuzurike need to get back on the field to help take the pressure and double teams off of Aidan Hutchinson and Alim McNeill.

Aaron Glenn Needs To Improve His Defensive Scheme And Play Calling To Give The Lions A Chance In More Games

There has been heaps of criticism for this defense, deservedly so. It’s the NFL’s worst defense in almost every statistical category. Some of that falls on Brad Holmes for not bringing in enough talent on that side of the ball, but a fair amount of the blame should be given to Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn. Situationally, his play calls and formations have been questioned. This can be improved quickly; however, some fans and beat reporters have pointed out that maybe the overall scheme is not amplifying the strengths of the players they currently have on the roster.

I love the Lions I root incredibly hard for them. Why does this keep happening? — Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) October 4, 2022

This all needs to be diligently examined by Campbell and Glenn during the bye week. They have an extra week two implement changes that could set them up to be at least an average defense. Either way, I don’t think the Lions should fire Aaron Glenn midseason, and probably not at the season’s end unless there is no positive change whatsoever during their next few games.

Change Your Perspective On The 2022-2023 Lions

Hard Knocks may have bumped up national and local expectations by an unhealthy and unreasonable amount for most fans. The hard truth is that this team still doesn’t have enough high-end talent or depth to consistently compete week to week. They’ve shown flashes, which should be celebrated and built upon, but the weaknesses have been glaringly obvious.

I plan on focusing on the young talent and how the coaching talent adapts to their strengths to finish out the season. Looking at the rest of the schedule, I still see at least three more games they should win, including the Bears, Jets, and Panthers. They need to take care of business during those. Then if they can come up with an upset or two the rest of the way, they still have a chance to double their win total from last season and give fans some hope for the 2023-2034 season.

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