This offseason, defensive end Dean Lowry was awarded a three-year extension worth just over $20 million. Considering the way he is contributing in the run defense, so far it is has been a solid investment.
No one was talking about Lowry after Monday’s game but his performance was noteworthy. Lowry controlled his gap for the entire game and it led him to a total of four tackles against the Lions.
“Dean Lowry really stood out in that football game,” head coach Matt LaFleur said Tuesday.
During his press conference, LaFleur had just wrapped up talking about the run defense which held Detroit to 56 yards on the ground. Their lowest total on the year. Running back Kerryon Johnson finished the night with 34 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had the longest run on a 10-yard scramble.
Give credit where credit is due, the run defense showed up and Lowry was a big part of their success.
In his fourth NFL, the former fourth-round draft pick has quietly been the Packers’ most productive interior lineman. Yes, even better than Kenny Clark. Through six games, Lowry has recorded two more tackles than Clark.
While Clark is eating up double teams, Lowry needed to step up and that’s what he’s done. Sure, it helps to have Za’Darius and Preston Smith wreaking havoc off the edge, however, none of that takes away from the work put in on the interior.
Two weeks ago, Green Bay’s defense was dominated at the line of scrimmage by the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia’s backfield ran through gaping holes and the Packers gave up 176 yards on the ground in a losing effort. It was by far the defense’s worst performance of the season.
Thankfully, they responded the following week in Dallas. Ezekiel Elliot typically has a field day against Green Bay but he was held to just 62 yards rushing.
Some may make the argument that the Packers miss former Pro-Bowl defensive end Mike Daniels but the defense has improved in his absence. The combination of Lowry, Montravious Adams, and Tyler Lancaster have filled in nicely and the void that was thought to be left by Daniels appears to not be much of a void at all.
“It shows we have great depth in our d-line room,” Lowry said following Monday’s stout defensive performance against the Lions. A game in which Green Bay also held Detroit to a scant 2.8 yards per carry.
If Lowry can continue to be a key force along the defensive front, it will make his contract look like a steal.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.