After a win at home against the Chicago Bears, the Lions are the feel good story of the NFC North as they stand in first place at 3-1.
And while the Lions have been relatively injury free, we shouldn't discount the loss of DE Jason Jones for the rest of the season.
More of a true end in a 3-4 defense, Jones would not seem to be a fit in most 4-3 defenses, where he would be viewed on paper as either a rush DT or a base DE, depending on the situation or scheme.
However, in Detroit, Jones was a perfect fit for the Lions 4-3 defense as a base or boundary DE, something that the Lions were sorely lacking last season as they were constantly exploited against the run due to their aggressive defensive tackles and undersized defensive ends.
While Jones showed the ability to get to the passer in the pre-season, his real value with the Lions was in sealing off the edge and stopping the run, and through the first two weeks of the season, that's exactly what he did, at least until he was lost for the season due to injury.
After the season injury to Jones, the Lions moved Willie Young moved to starter at RDE. And while Young has shown the ability to rush the QB on passing downs, he's proven to be a liability on running downs.
And while the Lions got away with Young's mistakes against Chicago, his inability to play the run is going to be an ongoing issue unless Detroit can find a base end to spell Young in non passing situations.
Perhaps former Lions DE Lawrence Jackson, who was cut by Minnesota after being lured away from Detroit as a free agent, is the answer.
But to date, the Lions have shown little interest in Lo-Jax, even though he graded out higher than any of their other defensive ends against the run last season.