Cosell’s Watching: Lions Secondary Can Be Exploited

Detroit Lions, From the Desk of Greg Cosell, Green Bay Packers, Greg Cosell, Inside the Game

As he prepares for the Wild Card Playoffs, NFL Matchup’s Executive Producer shares notes from his study of Week 17 coaching tape of the Packers offense vs. the Lions defense.

  • Clifton was back at LT for the Packers for the first time since week 5, Newhouse started at RT
  • Flynn fumbled on the first 3rd + long (3rd + 10), Nice stunt by DT Hill and DE Vanden Bosch
  • Lions continued to play significant snaps of “Tampa 2”, They rely primarily on their 4 DL for pass rush

  • Flynn showed the ability to improvise within structure, Ability to move outside the pocket and keep his focus downfield to deliver the ball: Nelson 18 yds on 1stquarter FG drive a great example

    Jordy Nelson catches a 58-yard TD in front of Chris Houston (AP)

  • Lions showed a 5 man pressure concept with Spievey the 5th rusher and “man free” behind it, They had LB Durant matched on Finley
  • DT Fairley tendency to play too upright at the snap and lose leverage; Moved too easily, especially by double teams – He needs an off-season in the weight room
  • Lions played significant snaps of “man free”, They put the burden on Spievey to match up to Finley
  • Flynn looked poised and in command in the pocket, He played at a very comfortable tempo – He was decisive with his reads and throws, Good arm strength
  • Suh not as good as he was last season, This season more solid than dominant
  • Clifton only played the 1st quarter, After that Newhouse moved to LT and Lang moved to RT with Dietrich-Smith at LG
  • Grant 80 yd screen TD came out of 3 WR personnel versus Lions 1st nickel zone blitz of the game, Screen to the side of the blitz – Deep safety Spievey took a bad angle to Grant
  • Spievay struggled to match up to Finley in man coverage, That match up hurt the Lions on 3rd down
  • Nelson 36 yd TD in the 2nd quarter was a great throw by Flynn, Gave Nelson a chance versus man coverage and corner Smith never located the ball even though he had good position
  • Lions struggled playing man coverage, Gave up a lot of plays

    Donald Driver reacts in front of Amari Spievey after catching a TD

  • Nelson 58 yd TD came off stretch run action, Nelson ran by outside leverage corner Houston on his post route – Flynn underthrew Nelson but Nelson had beaten Houston so badly it didn’t matter
  • Lions secondary can be exploited by a good passing team like the Packers, Safeties Spievey and Harris are not very good in pass coverage
  • Lions play zone coverage more effectively than they play man coverage
  • Jones 40 yds on 3rd + 4 on the winning TD drive was a great throw by Flynn, Jones a little bit of a “sluggo” move on Houston – Lions 2 deep shell and S Spievay jumped Flynn’s slight shoulder roll on Jones slant move inside
  • Finley 4 yd winning TD was beautifully game planned, Finley shifted from LOS TE position to “x” iso matched on S Spievay
  • Overall Flynn very impressive re: poise and composure in the pocket, plus decision making and consistent accuracy – He has had 2 very good games as a starter the last 2 years
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