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Detroit Lions: Why Gunther Cunningham's Defense Will Be the Difference in 2012

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Detroit Lions: Why Gunther Cunningham's Defense Will Be the Difference in 2012
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The offense of the Detroit Lions receives most of the positive publicity, but if they are going to improve on last year’s surprise season, it will be the play of Gunther Cunningham’s defense that will be the difference.

The Lions offense was not the problem last year. They exploded for almost 400 yards and averaged nearly 30 points per game. “Forward Down the Field” felt like it was on a continuous loop compared to years past when Jason Hanson’s right foot accounted for most of the team’s points.

The biggest problem last year was the defense, and heading into 2012, it will be the defense that determines how much improved the Detroit Lions will be.

Gunther Cunningham has his hands full with a defensive unit filled with young players who are still rough around the edges, but returning 10 of 11 starters, the potential is there for vast improvement.

Following are five key areas for the defense that if they all fulfill their promise, just may be the panacea needed for the Detroit Lions to finally reach the Super Bowl.

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