Detroit Lions rookies Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston lead all rookies in sacks so far this season. The two rookie defensemen have proven to be an absolute force to be reckoned with.
Through Week 14, Hutchinson leads all rookies with seven sacks. Houston, whose NFL debut was in Week 12, is behind him at No. 2 with four sacks. Behind Houston is a tie for third with 3.5 sacks for George Karlaftis and Travon Walker.
While Hutchinson was more or less “expected” to produce, Houston has been a sixth-round blessing. Around the coaching staff, you constantly hear, “We got the right one,” and “I like the one we got.” But with Houston, it was Dan Campbell saying, “We found a spot in a hurry for that.”
Houston was signed to the 53-man Roster after his NFL Debut where he produced two sacks and a fumble recovery in limited snaps. Not to mention, his first two sacks were on stud quarterback Josh Allen during the traditional Thanksgiving Game.
Over the last 20 seasons, only three players have accumulated 3+ sacks in their first two career games: Myles Garrett, Aidan Hutchinson, and James Houston. On Thursday, Houston assured the media he and Hutchinson will be a problem in the NFL.
“Me and him being the one and number two as rookies, i think that’s really special and it’s going to be a long time coming. Me and him – third downs are going to be – it’s going to be hard for a lot of NFL teams.”
Hutchinson has exceeded expectations in his rookie season. Through 14 weeks, he has tallied 35 total tackles, seven sacks, 13 quarterback hits, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Per Lions PR, Hutchinson is the only NFL player with at least seven sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery this season. He’s the first NFL defensive lineman to do so since Jared Allen in 2010 and the first rookie DL to do so since 1986.
In last week’s win, Hutch recorded his seventh sack and a TFL. After the game, he told the media his production is a result of the defense just clicking.
“Yeah man, we’re just going out there doing our thing. Trusting the game plan. There’s not much else to it, man we’re all just clicking.”
I will IGNORANTLY defend Aidan Hutchinson for the rest of my life after he hit that “BOSS UP” #DROY #OnePride pic.twitter.com/IxENjXN8j4
— Eazy (@SpeakEZsports_) December 11, 2022
Houston, who also recorded a sack in Sunday’s Week 14 win over the Minnesota Vikings, says getting sacks is just really fun.
“It’s one of the best feelings.”
Up Next for the Lions
The Lions now gear up to face the New York Jets in a stadium they’ve played in once already this season. Who will start at QB for the Jets is still up in the air, but Houston told reporters on Thursday that, that doesn’t really effect his game plan.
“I don’t really think, for me, that matters too much. I’m trying to beat the tackle. I’m trying to beat the tackle and get to the quarterback and as long as he ain’t running all over the field, I’m good. I’m going to come get him too, even if he is running all over the field, I’m going to come find him.”
Hutchinson has not yet practiced for the Lions this week as he is one of the several players who caught an illness. He is, however, expected to play on Sunday.
Kick-off on Sunday is set for 1pm ET.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
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