Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham is facing criticism heading into Monday night’s game against the Ravens. Detroit gave up 34 points in the second half against the Eagles last week, as LeSean McCoy ran for a franchise record 217 yards. Another bad Detroit defensive performance could lead to a Ravens’ victory, and raise more doubt about the Lions (7-6) making the playoffs.
Cunningham faced the Detroit media on Saturday and blamed the defensive collapse against the Eagles on missed tackles, not the Lions’ Wide-9 defensive scheme.
“We made adjustments,” Cunningham said via the Detroit News. “But we missed tackles. “People have their opinion. But you can’t hold teams six games in a row to 60 yards or less rushing and think the scheme is bad. We missed tackles. That’s what happened. We’ve been a good tackling team all year. You scratch your head about it but you have to move on to the next one.”
The next one is Monday night. The Ravens (7-6) feel they are hitting their stride offensively, with the return of tight end Dennis Pitta, and Joe Flacco coming off two excellent games.
Don’t expect Ray Rice to run for 217 yards against the Lions like McCoy did. However, if the Ravens establish a running game to compliment Flacco and the passing attack, they will move the football consistently. And that could lead to another long night for Cunningham.