Alex Anzalone offers relatable analogy for Lions defensive turnaround this year

SideLion Report

The Detroit Lions’ defense played a lot better late in the season, and linebacker Alex Anzalone had a perfectly relatable analogy to describe it.

During a 1-6 start to this season, the Detroit Lions defense was bad and at times awful. If felt like defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant was made a scapegoat after the Week 8 loss to the Miami Dolphins, but there’s no denying how the results improved after that.

Over the final 10 games, as the team not coincidentally went 8-2 over that stretch, the Lions’ defense allowed less than 20 points six times. They allowed less than 100 rushing yards in a game four times; remove the running prowess of Bears quarterback Justin Fields twice and it might have been six.

Week 16, when they allowed 320 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers, was a bad outlier. Take that out and Aaron Glenn’s unit would have been a top-five scoring and yardage defense over the final six weeks. As it was the Lions defense was very good late in the season.

Linebacker Alex Anzalone had a nice second season as a Lion this year. He led the team in tackles with 125, along with seven tackles for loss, six pass breakups and 1.5 sacks while playing all 17 games.

Alex Anzalone offers perfect, relatable analogy for turnaround of Lions defense

Anzalone made an appearance on Sirius XM’s “Movin’ The Chains’ with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan last Thursday, Jan. 19. In describing the difference between the first seven games and the last 10 (for the most part) and how the Lions’ defense still came in near the bottom for the season in a lot of categories, he offered a solid and relatable analogy.

Via Lions Wire:

The way I put it is, you’re early in a semester and you fail the first two or three tests, it’s hard to bounce back from that statistically,” “If you look at our numbers, I think from Week 9 or Week 10 on, we were really a dominant defense. That’s really a credit to (Lions DC Aaron Glenn) and what he stuck to and really what he changed also, personnel-wise — making hard decisions. Schematically, figuring out how to put our players in really great positions to succeed, myself included.”

Starting poorly in a class and trying to rally for a respectable mark is a very relatable analogy, maybe a little too relatable for some people when they think back to their school days. But Anzalone pretty much nailed it when it came to the Lions defense in 2022.

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