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‘Who lined up and ran on us?’

The numbers tell one story, but Detroit Lions linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard saw something totally different on film.

Five days after the Lions allowed 216 yards rushing in a season-opening 38-35 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Sheppard touted his unit’s effort in stopping the Eagles’ rushing attack.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts ran for 90 yards on 17 carries on a series of designed runs and scrambles, while running backs Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott combined for another 126 yards rushing, with 24 coming on Sanders’ game-clinching first down run with 2 minutes to play.

The Eagles also scored four rushing touchdowns of 1, 1, 1 and 2 yards.

“I do not get caught up in statistics, but the facts are the facts,” Sheppard said Friday. “Who’s lined up and run the ball between the tackles on us? The facts are the facts, guys. I’m going to keep it real and I’m going to tell you the truth.”

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Detroit Lions defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (96) tries to tackle Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) during the first half at Ford Field, Sept. 11, 2022.

The Lions struggled to stop the mobile Hurts, who had four runs of 10-plus yards in the first half, but have gotten improved play from their linebacker unit dating back to the preseason.

The NFL’s 28th-ranked rush defense last year at 135.1 yards per game allowed, the Lions stymied the running games of the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers in preseason games (and joint practices in Indianapolis) but gave up 168 yards on the ground in their exhibition opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

Like the Eagles, the Falcons relied heavily on mobile quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder in the rushing attack.

“We’re talking about the quarterback run, which we understand we have to contain,” Sheppard said….


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/detroit-lions-tout-run-defense-100715523.html?src=rss

Author : Detroit Free Press

Publish date : 2022-09-17 10:07:15

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