Aidan Hutchinson kicked off the 2022-2023 in one of the best ways possible for the Detroit Lions.
The former number two overall pick got his feet wet in a tough 38-35 loss to the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field in Detroit, and used the experience to reel off an impressive Game Two performance that raised the bar for his season in a big way.
The former number two overall pick out of Michigan had three sacks in the Lions’ week two, 36-27 win over the Washington Commanders, during which he terrorized opposing quarterback Carson Wentz and fed off the energy of a hyped-up hometown crowd.
Aidan Hutchinson with the 1st sack of his career ?pic.twitter.com/nbXkJlsazV
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 18, 2022
In Game Three, Hutchinson did not hear his name called once, however, recording zero tackles or other notches in the stat column in a disappointing Lions loss on the road at Minnesota.
Last week, Hutchinson again did not record a sack as the Lions were blitzed by the Seattle Seahawks, giving up 48 points on defense in a three-point loss.
The frustrating defeat has since led many Lions fans to question whether the team made the right pick or not.
Hutchinson’s pass-rush win rate, calculated as defeating a block in under 2.5 seconds, is one of the worst of all NFL pass rushers.
ESPN Stat Shows Hutchinson’s Positive Impact on the Game
Despite the relatively disappointing last two weeks for the Michigan product, Hutchinson still has several positive stats to hang his hat on.
He five tackles against Seattle including two solo.
His projected stats for the season are 12.8 sacks and 30 tackles according to ESPN.com, despite playing on a Lions defense ranked dead last in the NFL, giving up 444.8 yards per game, nearly 20 yards worse than their closest counterparts, the Seahawks.
According to ESPN, Hutchinson is facing the second-highest rate of double-teams among all edge rushers in the NFL, behind only Myles Garrett of Cleveland.
Whether or not Hutchinson will be able to beat these double teams consistently moving forward is a major question mark, for sure.
But it is just one indicator that the number two overall pick’s impact is being felt in ways that don’t always translate to the stats sheet.
Hutchinson had the following to say about the double teams in an article published in The Detroit News on Friday.
“You’ve just got to be as active as you can, especially when you get that chip, you get those different scenarios, you’ve just got to stay active, and not get discouraged by the chip, because that’s what they’re trying to do.”
“You know, we’re just going with the flow, and we’re feeling things out,” Hutchinson added. “And we are going to be ready on Sunday (on the road against the New England Patriots).”