The Lions defense is the worst in the NFL statistically, but they have a bright spot in rookie end Aidan Hutchinson as they prepare to visit the Giants on Sunday.
The second overall pick in the 2022 draft has 5.5 sacks, second only in franchise history to Ndamukong Suh’s 6.5 through nine career games.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hutchinson ranks first among all rookies with 28 total pressures, combining his sacks, quarterback hits and hurries.
“He’s disruptive,” Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas told Newsday. “He has the tools to be a really great player in this league. He plays with a lot of effort, too. A lot of times talented guys, they’ll take plays off. He runs to the ball. The whole defense does. They take on the personality of their head coach [Dan Campbell].”
Said Giants coach Brian Daboll, “[Hutchinson] made a great play against Chicago, which led to an interception off of a screen pass to a tight end. He recognized it and he kind of dropped back, made [Bears quarterback Justin] Fields throw it over the top. [Cornerback Jeff] Okudah picks it off, runs it back [for a touchdown].
“Instinctive, can play a wide variety of spots. Can play inside some, does a good job on his field goal rush with his movement. A good football player.”
Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said of Hutchinson, “He’s doing a great job. You can tell he’s playing savvy, he’s got some savviness to him on the perimeter and you see him make plays on the ball.”
Notes & quotes: OT Evan Neal (knee) practiced on a limited basis, but Daboll indicated it is highly unlikely he will play Sunday . . . WR Wan’Dale Robinson (hamstring) did not practice.