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The Lions play more man coverage than anybody else. Why are they so bad at it?

Last season, the two teams that played the most man coverage were the Detroit Lions and the New England Patriots. Each team put man concepts on the field on 54% of their defensive snaps, per Sports Info Solutions. Not a surprise in that Lions head coach Matt Patricia used to be Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator, and Patricia has several former Patriots (Trey Flowers, Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton) playing on his defense.

However, the results of man coverage for the two teams could not possibly have been more different last season. In 2019, when playing Cover-0, Cover-1, or 2-Man coverage, not to mention combo man/zone schemes, the Patriots allowed 10 touchdowns, picked off 18 passes, gave up a completion rate of 49.8%, and allowed an opponent QBR of 54.06.

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