July 18, 2024

NFL Riot: Lions Aidan Hutchinson Brutally Fires Warning to Rest of the NFL after….

With a new career-high 11.5 sacks in 2023, Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson made his way into the Pro Bowl. But that is insufficient.

Although Hutchinson suggested the 2023 season was a success, he also made it clear that he expects himself to continue getting better.

“I think the whole year was a year of growth. I think there was definitely some adversity as a team, adversity individually. And, it caused me to just try and learn as fast as I can,” Hutchinson told Detroitlions.com’s Dannie Rogers. “I really enjoy this process, though. That’s what it’s all about. I feel like I took so many strides this year.

“[But] I think there’s still so many levels to unlock. So I’m looking forward to continuing to grow in my potential.”

In addition to 11.5 sacks, Hutchinson posted 14 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hits with 7 pass defenses in 2023. All of those statistics were higher totals than what Hutchinson produced in his 2022 rookie season.

Then in three playoff games, Hutchinson had 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 8 quarterback hits and 2 pass defenses.

Lions’ Aidan Hutchinson Improved Late in 2023 Season

Hutchinson built off his impressive rookie campaign with an even better 2023 season overall. He had 101 pressures during the 2023 regular season, which was second-most in the league.

But even more importantly, he was at his best in the biggest games.

After Christmas, Hutchinson had 8 sacks in the team’s final five games, including the postseason. He also had 19 combined tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 18 quarterback hits during that stretch.

The NFL’s best teams have their best players peaking during December and January. That was certainly the case for Hutchinson, which bodes well for his future and a playoff run next year.

Unfortunately, similar to some of his teammates, Hutchinson didn’t perform quite as well in the NFC championship game. He didn’t have a sack or a tackle in the contest.

That, though, should only fuel the 23-year-old’s fire, especially with him setting high expectations that he will be even better during his third season.

Lions Aiming to Pair Hutchinson With Elite Edge Rusher in 2024?

One way Hutchinson can get better is something he can’t control. But the Lions can.

Hutchinson reached double digits in sacks and created 101 pressures without a lot of help from the rest of his defense. Defensive tackle Alim McNeill had a career-high 5 sacks, but no one else on Detroit’s defense had more than 3 sacks.

For that reason, the Lions have been connected to pending free agent and first-round graded edge rushers early this offseason.

If Detroit added an edge rusher to play opposite Hutchinson, then opposing offensive lines would not be able to focus all of their attention trying to stop the 23-year-old.

It could lead to even bigger numbers for Hutchinson.

 

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