Week 3 preview: Does Detroit have an answer for Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook?

Pride of Detroit

The Detroit Lions defense has performed well above expectations, and that’s even taking a basement-dwelling 65 points given up—second-worst in the league to the Arizona Cardinals (67)—and a 10th-worst 5.9 yards per play into consideration.

The Lions defensive performance in the first half against the Washington Commanders in Week 2 was as dominant and consistently imposing an effort as we’ve seen in Detroit for years, nearly a decade. If Detroit can continue to add depth by way of players potentially returning from injuries—Jerry Jacobs, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Josh Paschal, Levi Onwuzurike, and Romeo Okwara—the Lions could further fortify a defense that’s been applying pressure in bunches and playing stout against the run.

One of Detroit’s biggest names that could return to action this week is starting outside cornerback Amani Oruwariye. He happened to be a full participant in practice on Thursday as he gets right from a back injury that kept him out in Week 2.

Getting their starting cornerbacks out on the field will be key for Detroit as they prepare to travel to Minnesota for a NFC North clash with the Vikings, and with so much on the line at such an early point in the season, we brought in one of our favorite guests to help breakdown the Norse Code: Pro Football Network’s Arif Hasan.

Arif reminds us that the answer to the eternal question of “is Kirk Cousins good?” entirely depends on your definition of “good,” the Vikings have a forward-thinking offensive head coach steering the ship—and unleashing Justin Jefferson in a way similar to how Cooper Kupp took the league by storm a year ago in Los Angeles, and how Minnesota’s linebackers could be susceptible to some of Detroit’s top offensive weapons.

All of that and more on the latest edition of “First Byte,” our preview podcast.

Check out our conversation below:

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