Lions’ Versatility Presents Unique Challenge For Steelers

Lost in the Martavis Bryant saga and even the Pittsburgh Steelers big win over the Bengals is the fact there’s another game on Sunday. Against a talented Detroit Lions team. In Detroit. Certainly not an easy task for the Steelers if they want to continue their winning ways. Ben Roethlisberger discussed the Lions’ defense and what makes them a threat.

“They’re very opportunistic,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “Lot of turnovers. Balls are tipped, they catch them. Doesn’t seem like a ball that’s in the air ever hits the ground. They have a good pass rush. Four guys, sometimes they add a fifth. And I think one of the biggest challenges is on third down. They Rolodex the defense. Literally you might not see the same coverage in the secondary two third downs [in a game].”

Detroit is tied for third in the league with nine interceptions. They’re led by Darius Slay, one of the league’s most underrated corners, and Glover Quinn, one of the most underrated safeties. Antonio Brown and Slay had some great battles when the Lions came to St. Vincent for joint training camp practices two years ago.

Roethlisberger said the biggest key to the game is responding to what the Lions throw at them mid-game.

“They’re throwing so many defenses and coverages at you especially on third down. To try to figure something out, to get a leg up or something, is going to be really hard to do. So they’re going to be a lot of in-game adjustments going on.”

Sounds like a lot will be on Todd Hakey’s shoulders to command those changes. He’s already shaping up to be this Week’s X Factor.

Yes, the Lions’ defense has a lot of holes. They aren’t generating a consistent enough pass rush and just gave up a whopping 52 points to the New Orleans Saints ten days ago, though five turnovers by the offense did them no favors. But they’re coming off a bye week and relatively healthy. A group not to be taken lightly.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.