AT THE HALF: Lions losing the battle in the trenches, trail 17-7

Posted Oct 13, 2013

Twentyman says the Lions may have to re-think their defensive strategy after generating virtually no pressure in the first half

A lot of the focus before Sunday's game in Cleveland centered on the outside part of the field and the health of All Pro receiver Calvin Johnson.

But it was the play in the trenches that's been letting the Lions down early on as they trail the Browns 17-7 at the half.

The defensive line has generated little to no pressure on Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden in the first 30 minutes of play.

The Browns entered the game ranked 31st in the NFL having given up 22 sacks in their first five games. The Lions had zero in the first half and pressured him only a couple times.

Weeden, who had been demoted to third-string at one point this season, completed 12 of 20 passes for 135 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He's been able to sit in the pocket and survey the field and gouge the Lions on chunk plays.

The Lions might have to rethink their defensive strategy and try to get a little more aggressive in the second half. The front four simply isn't doing the job by themselves.

The Lions aren't controlling the line of scrimmage on the offensive side of the ball, either. They have just 27 rushing yards and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has felt pressure on a number of occasions.

For a second consecutive week, the Lions are losing the battle in the trenches, and if they don't figure it out, the final result will be the same as last week, too.