In light of the excellent thread started by LongintheTooth I wanted to look closer at the 2020 Lions and rushing the passer.
I think most here understand this defensive scheme relies on scheme and down to generate pressure versus pure player talent. For example the Patriots were 9th in team sacks in 2017 (Patricia’s last year there, with no player over 6.5 sacks/season), 17th in sacks in 2016 (no player over 7 sacks), 2nd in team sacks in 2014 (49 sacks, Chandler Jones had 12 and Sheard had 8) and in 2014 the Pats were 13th in sacks. 4 seasons of roughly average to great in 2015.
But in terms of points scored allowed…the 2017 Patriots were 5th in the league in 2017, they were 1st in points allowed in 2016 (remember, they were 17th in sacks that season), in 2015 they were 10th in points allowed and in 2014 they were 8th in points allowed. That smells like playoff defenses to me.
In 2019 the Patriots were 1st in points allowed doind what Patricia did in 2016.
In terms of QB rating allowed the Pats were 17th in 2017, 8th in 2016, 13th in 2015 and 10th in 2014. Nothing to write home about overall but consistent and solid.
Point is if this offense can score points and pressure the other team (like the Pats did with Brady)…can this defense pressure/sack the QB enough to stop teams when it counts? We sure as hell sucked at that in 2019.
We have Flowers coming back and this guy is a really, really good player for us. Maybe a 10 sacks guy (that would be a career high for him)? He is a 6-7.5 sack/season guy now. We added Jamie Collins who seems like a 5+ sack guy to me. But past that who do we have? Kennard is gone.
Jarrad Davis has had sacks in the past and he might help there. But it smells to me like there is a lot of pressure on Romeo Okwara, Austin Bryant, Da’Shawn Hand, Nick Williams, rookie rookie Julian Okwara, Jahlani Tavai and then Danny Shelton. IF all these guys can get 3 sacks apiece That is 21 sacks there. And if Flowers and Collins can combine for 14 that is 38.
That is roughly just under mid-point in the league. Can those guys get more sacks? Yes but counting on it is not smart.
I look at all this and I think we are one more DL guy away from really getting after a QB. I am happy with LBers and possible edge guys.
I personally am eying Marcell Dareus. 30 years old. Had a core muscle injury which ended his season in 2019. A guy like Dareus might be the interior pressure guy we need to rest Shelton and to help plug the run in a rotational role. Marcell didn’t put up numbers like he did with the Bills but I would feel like we can push a pocket if we rotate Shelton and Dareus. That would make our edge players more effective and maybe make this defense pop.