Detroit's problems on defense

Can Lions fix secondary and get pressure on Jay Cutler?

Originally Published: October 21, 2012
By Sam Monson | Pro Football Focus
Eagles, LionsRich Schultz /Getty ImagesThe Detroit Lions have struggled in pass defense all season.

The Detroit Lions finished last season with a 10-6 record, a 5,000-yard passing quarterback and the nucleus of a team that many expected to become contenders in 2012. It hasn't happened, and at 2-3 they now sit at the bottom of the NFC North, a division that has yet to sort itself out.

Facing the Chicago Bears on Monday night, the Lions are staring at a game they need to win to get back in the division race and also to prevent the Bears from running away with it.

To pull off the upset, the Lions need to see a resurgence from their defense, a unit loaded with talent but one that seems to have come off the tracks. The basic numbers may not reveal it, as Detroit's points allowed per game is up by only 2.4 from 2011 and its yards per game allowed is actually down by 44, but this is a defense with significant issues.

Can the Lions fix their issues against Chicago?

Where are they hurting?

The strength of the defense last season was the line, and with the talent the Lions had, it seemed natural they would improve this season. But this unit has being hamstrung by poor performances at almost every position.

• Senior analyst at Pro Football Focus
• Contributes regular columns to ESPN Insider