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Scouting report: Lions' defense

Dec. 9, 2012
 

The Lions rank No. 19 in yards allowed, No. 25 in points allowed, No. 19 in rushing yards allowed per game and No. 25 in yards allowed per carry.

Running defense

Ndamukong Suh’s effort tends to fluctuate, but the last few weeks he’s played some of his best football since his rookie year. Against the Colts he had six tackles, including four for a loss.

The last time the Packers played the Lions, defensive tackle Corey Williams (6-4, 320) didn’t play because of a knee injury, but he returned to part-time duty last week and figures to play more Sunday to improve the tackle rotation.

Second-year pro Nick Fairley (6-3, 291), who started while Williams was injured, was a problem for the interior of the Packers’ line in the last meeting (seven tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss, and two quarterback hits).

Passing defense

The Lions have one of the NFL’s deepest defensive lines but enough holes in the secondary that they rank only No. 19 in passing yards allowed and No. 21 in defensive passer rating (89.7).

Last week against the Colts’ strong and mobile rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, Suh often dominated as a rusher and had one sack and six quarterback hits.

Defensive end Cliff Avril (6-3, 260) is one of the NFL’s unsung outside rushers and is tied for No. 12 in the NFL in sacks (8.5). He’s more of a speed than power rusher but has a good combination of both.

Safety Louis Delmas, one of their two best defensive backs, didn’t play the last game against Packers because of a knee injury but has been back for two games and last week played 56 of 77 defensive snaps.

Fourth-year safety Don Carey (5-11, 192) was waived injured in camp because of a hamstring injury but has been an upgrade in the secondary since re-signing Nov. 1. He had two interceptions last week.

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