At the start of the Detroit Lions’ 2022 season, it was second overall pick Aidan Hutchinson who made an impact. Just 10 games into his career, the former Michigan Wolverine had already had 5.5 sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. It turned out to be as good as advertised.
And while his level of play has continued to rise — with his run defense improving markedly in recent weeks — when it comes to sacks, the Lions have had an all-new dominant force among their rookie class.
The rise of sixth-round pick James Houston was sudden and emphatic. The Lions got Houston active for the first time in Week 12, and the defensive end immediately rewarded Detroit with two sacks in his NFL debut. Although he continues to have only a limited role on defense – never going over more than 25 snaps in a game – Houston’s passing skills continued to be on display, and the 24-year-old years headed into Week 17 against the already second-team Bears. with 5.0 sacks in five games.
But Sunday was his escape game. Houston played a much bigger role on Sunday and, again, it rewarded Detroit for that personal decision. In total, Houston had three sacks in the game, including a forced fumble that was picked up by fellow rookie Hutchinson.
Now Houston actually leads the Lions — and all NFL rookies — with 8.0 sacks on the season, and that’s only in six games played with mostly limited reps. Combined with Hutchinson’s 7.5 sacks on the season — and two from Lions second-round pick Josh Paschal on Sunday — the Lions’ rookie class is now breaking record after record. Here are a few, courtesy of the Detroit Lions PR team:
“It’s also a good base for us,” Hutchinson said after the game. “And yeah man, it’s very exciting to be out there and be a part of games like that.”
It’s an exciting time for the Lions defensive front, and it may just be the beginning.
The article is in French
. rookies Lions James Houston Aidan Hutchinson beat records bag